The House Committee on Oversight and Reform on Thursday announced a probe into an investment by the government of Saudi Arabia into a private investment firm managed by Jared Kushner, the son-in-law of former president Trump.
Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), the chairwoman of the House panel, said in a news release she is investigating a $2 billion investment from the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF), which is controlled by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, into Kushner’s investment firm A Fin Management, LLC (Affinity).
Kushner incorporate Affinity in Delaware in January 2021, shortly after Trump exited the White House. He secured the $2 billion Saudi investment six months later, according to the House panel.
In a letter to Kushner, Maloney said she is probing whether Kushner improperly used his influence as a government official to secure the investment, saying she was “concerned by your decision to solicit billions of dollars from the Saudi government immediately following your significant involvement in shaping U.S.-Saudi relations.”
“Your close relationship with Crown Prince bin Salman, your pro-Saudi positions during the Trump Administration, and PIF’s decision to fund the lion’s share of your new business venture — only six months after the end of your White House tenure — create the appearance of a quid pro quo for your foreign policy work during the Trump Administration,” Maloney wrote.
The Hill has reached out to Kushner for comment.
Maloney is requesting Kushner supply the panel with documents, including his communications regarding the PIF investment and with the crown prince. In some cases she asked for documents and communications dating back to January 2017, when he first assumed the role of senior adviser to Trump.
This isn’t the first time the Trump administration’s ties to the Saudi government have been scrutinized.
The former president in 2018 said the Saudis are “very nice,” adding that he makes “a lot of money with them.” His administration also approved arms sales worth hundreds of millions of dollars to Saudi Arabia amid the country’s role in the civil war in Yemen.
After the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018, Trump downplayed the Saudi government’s role in his murder, contradicting U.S. intelligence that concluded the crown prince was behind the brutal killing at a Saudi consulate in Turkey.
Kushner was reported to have a close relationship with the crown prince, calling him during the Khashoggi crisis and communicating with him informally over WhatsApp. Kushner was also reported to have pushed Trump to inflate numbers for arms sales to Saudi Arabia.
Maloney accused Kushner in the letter of multiple other close dealings with the Saudi government and said he was the crown prince’s “most important defender” in the White House after Khashoggi’s murder.
“Your support for Saudi interests was unwavering, even as Congress and the rest of the world closely scrutinized the country’s human rights abuses in Yemen, the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi assassins tied to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and Saudi Arabia’s crackdown on political dissidents at home,” the chairwoman wrote.