Just let that headline sink in for a moment – it’s bad enough on it’s own, but the details tell an even more damning story – especially when you take into account that Kushner failed to list this company on his security forms until he was called out for it – and when you consider the possible connection with Trump’s recent gift of a massive arms deal to one of the countries who “invested” in this company.
How do we know that the $90 million of dark foreign money is not simply a bribe to the Trump family? The fact is we don’t. Two sources say at least some of the money is from Saudi Arabia. So Saudi Arabia pumps money into a Trump family company and then Trump gifts them a $100 billion arms deal (even though Congress objects). How is this not suspicious? Why isn’t it being investigated? This is simply astounding. When has any other President been so baldfaced about accepting millions of dollars from countries for which he is doing favors?
A real estate company part-owned by Jared Kushner has received $90m in foreign funding from an opaque offshore vehicle since he entered the White House as a senior adviser to his father-in-law Donald Trump.
Investment has flowed from overseas to the company, Cadre, while Kushner works as an international envoy for the US, according to corporate filings and interviews. The money came through a vehicle run by Goldman Sachs in the Cayman Islands, a tax haven that guarantees corporate secrecy.
Excuse me, but the company name alone sounds suspicious. Cadre. Why not just call it Criminal Enterprise, Inc.?
Kushner, who is married to Trump’s elder daughter Ivanka, kept a stake in Cadre after joining the administration, while selling other assets. His holding is now valued at up to $50m, according to his financial disclosure documents. …
“It will cause people to wonder whether he is being improperly influenced,” said Jessica Tillipman, a lecturer at George Washington University law school, who teaches government ethics and anti-corruption laws.
Kushner resigned from Cadre’s board and reduced his ownership stake to less than 25% after he joined the White House, according to his attorneys. He failed to list Cadre on his first ethics disclosure, later adding the company and saying the omission was inadvertent. …
So Kushner reduced his holdings to less than 25%? Big deal. 24.9% of $90 million is still over $22 million. Besides, as the article points out, the company was founded by him, his brother, and his friend – so you can bet any foreign dark money being funneled into the company still winds up in the coffers of family and friends.
The names of the foreigners investing in Cadre via Goldman Sachs are not disclosed by the companies, which are not required to make the information public. Two sources familiar with the firm said much of the money came to the Cayman Islands vehicle from a second offshore tax haven, while some came from Saudi Arabia.
Kushner was initially denied a security clearance by career officials when he joined Trump’s administration. A whistleblower has told Congress it was blocked due to concerns about Kushner’s outside business interests and “foreign influence”. Kushner was later granted a clearance, allegedly after a Trump appointee intervened. …
Trump is doing everything he can to block investigations into how Kushner obtained a security clearance despite all the red flags. Another crime of obstruction by the President.
A spokesman for Cadre declined to comment on the record. A spokesman for Goldman Sachs, Patrick Scanlan, said: “Cadre does not have access to any information about the Goldman Sachs clients who have invested in these vehicles.” …
We’re expected to believe that Kushner does not know exactly who dropped the $90 million into his company? Come on. All it would take is one encrypted What’sApp message to let him know. “Hey, that $90 million – it was from us. Now it’s time for you to take care of your end of the bargain.”
The offshore Goldman Sachs vehicle began collecting funds for Cadre in August 2017, according to a securities filing. …
We should be looking at what favors Trump and Kushner were granting to foreign governments at the time. One glaring example: The massive arms deal with Saudi Arabia was shaping up around this time frame. And who was behind that deal? Kushner, of course. “Trump signs Kushner-negotiated $100B Saudi arms deal,” CNN, May 17, 2017.
Compare and contrast Trump’s highly suspicious behavior with other Presidents who have done everything in their power to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest:
Trump and several members of his administration, including Kushner, have bucked precedent by retaining business interests after entering the government. George W Bush and Bill Clinton moved their wealth into “blind trusts”, while Barack Obama had few assets beyond savings accounts and investments in index funds. …
“The problem with Kushner – and with Trump – is that we have all these corporate entities, and often nobody knows who is invested in them and where those investors borrowed their money. We simply have no idea,” said Painter. …
Kushner says he has excluded himself from government policy on real estate. …
Again, big whoop. Does anyone for one second suppose that this $90 million in foreign dark money is narrowly directed towards influencing real estate regulations? It could be a bribe for anything under the sun.
The article does, however, go on to point out how Kushner’s wife flaunts conflict of interest laws when it comes to influencing real estate legislation.
The conflict of interest law treats spouses’ financial interests as combined. Ivanka Trump has been credited by Trump with advocating for an administration policy that promises to be lucrative for real estate developers and investors. She denies any impropriety.
Kushner’s own recusal on real estate matters in front of the government would not in itself prevent him from taking actions in other policy areas that could entice foreign investors to Cadre.
And more lies:
As Trump’s special representative in the Middle East, Kushner has developed a close relationship with Saudi Arabian officials, particularly the crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman. Cadre says it does not have any sovereign wealth funds among its investors.
But above Cadre just finished saying that they don’t know where the $90 million originated that was channeled through Goldman-Sachs. So they were either lying then or they’re lying now when they say they do know that they have not received funds originating from foreign sovereign wealth funds. The two statements cannot both be true.
Boy, does this stink:
Virginia Canter, the chief ethics counsel at the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, said the opaque investments in Cadre would continue raising concerns as Kushner carried out his government duties.
“It was one of the only assets that Kushner retained and it continues to collect foreign investors without transparency,” said Canter, a former White House attorney for Obama and Clinton.
And here’s the maraschino cherry on top of this corruption sundae:
Cadre recently announced plans to raise multimillion-dollar funds to invest in real estate developments in parts of the US covered by the Trump administration’s “opportunity zones” program, which offers valuable tax breaks to developers and investors.
The program was championed by Ivanka Trump, according to her father, who said at the White House that Ivanka had been “pushing this very hard”. The remarks raised allegations that policy she worked on could benefit her husband financially. She has denied any impropriety.