Lawyers from the White House are investigating two massive loans made to Jared Kushner’s family business for possibly violating ethics statutes or federal law, the Wall Street Journal reported. The investigation was announced Monday, after the New York Times reported that Kushner had met personally with top executives from Apollo and Citibank, the two firms that issued loans to Kushner Cos., his family’s real estate behemoth.
The Office of Governmental Ethics announced its investigation into the loans, which together totaled over half a billion dollars, in a letter to a Democratic lawmaker Monday. A spokeswoman for Kushner Cos. said the company has not received any inquiry from the Office.
Abbe Lowell, a lawyer for Kusher, said Kushner “was not involved with his former company after he entered government service; the transactions in question came after that; he had nothing to do with those transactions; the transactions had nothing to do with any of his meetings in the White House, and the people from the companies involved have confirmed that as well.”
Citigroup has told lawmakers its $325 million loan — for a mortgage on a Brooklyn property — was “completely appropriate.” They said that conversations for the loan began in 2016. Kushner met with Citigroup’s CEO at the White House early in March of 2017. Citigroup and Kushner Cos. closed on the deal later that month. Citigroup has said that the two did not discuss the pending loan at their meeting.
Kushner companies also said that Kushner never discussed a pending $184 million loan with the executive of Apollo.
The OGE is an advisory office, and can only recommend charges to the Department of Justice.