White House Senior Adviser Jared Kushner’s family business has changed its public relations firm to one that reportedly specializes in crisis communications, possibly due to increased scrutiny into the firm’s dealings.
Bloomberg News reported Thursday that Kushner Companies, Trump’s son-in-law’s family business, will now have its PR matters handled by Eric Wachter, a vice president at Finsbury. Wachter replaces Risa Heller Communications and his firm specializes in crisis management, litigation, and government investigations as well as other matters, according to Bloomberg. As of Thursday, Wachter’s name is listed as the press contact on the firm’s official website.
Kushner has stepped down from the business and sold his personal stake in the company, but the firm has remained in the spotlight due to its connection to the president’s senior adviser.
Bloomberg noted that the move comes shortly after Kushner testified behind closed doors to Senate and House committees about alleged ties between the Trump campaign and the Russian government. Senate Democrats have asked about a meeting Kushner had during the transition with Russian banker Sergey Gorkov, and whether the business was discussed in that meeting.
The Washington Post reported in June that Kushner’s business dealings were a topic of interest for FBI special counsel Robert Mueller as he investigates allegations of Russian interference.
However, Politico reported that it was Risa Heller, a Democratic operative who used to work for Democratic Senate Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), who made the decision to drop the firm as the work became increasingly related to politics. The outlet reported that the decision arose amid the outrage surrounding Trump’s response to the protests in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Kushner Companies has also come under heavy scrutiny for its use of an immigration-for-investment scheme and for promoting the scheme to Chinese investors earlier this year.
The business was reportedly subpoenaed in May in relation to a development, One Journal Square, that was financed by a visa program known as EB-5. That program offers green cards to potential immigrants as long as they “Make the necessary investment in a commercial enterprise in the United States; and plan to create or preserve 10 permanent full-time jobs for qualified U.S. workers.”
Kushner’s sister, Nicole Kushner Meyer, made a pitch to Chinese investors in May for the project and an ad for the event said, “Invest $500,000 and immigrate to the United States.”
The Kushner family later apologized for mentioning its connection to the Trump administration in the pitch.
Adam Shaw is a Breitbart News politics reporter based in New York. Follow Adam on Twitter: @AdamShawNY