June 2 (UPI) — The House oversight and reform committee has launched a probe into whether former senior White House adviser Jared Kushner used his government position to secure an investment for his private equity firm from a Saudi Arabian wealth fund.
Chairwoman Rep. Carolyn Maloney sent a letter to Kushner, who is former President Donald Trump‘s son-in-law, requesting that he and his firm, Affinity Partners, produce documents related to the Saudi Public Investment Fund’s $2 billion investment and any correspondence between Kushner and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, during or after the Trump administration by June 16.
“The committee on oversight and reform is investigating whether you have improperly traded your government position to obtain billions of dollars from the Saudi government and whether your personal financial interests improperly influenced U.S. foreign policy during the administration of your father-in-law,” Maloney wrote.
During his time in the White House, Kushner developed “a very close relationship” with Mohammed, who led the board that voted to approve the investment, the committee said.
In her letter, Maloney, D-N.Y., noted that Kushner incorporated Affinity on Jan. 21, 2021, the day after Kushner and Trump departed the White House.
It also cited disclosures originally published by The New York Times that noted the Saudi government’s main sovereign wealth fund invested the $2 billion in Kushner’s firm despite one of its internal committees raising an objection over Kushner’s lack of relevant investment experience.
“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 committee in 2019 released reports about Kushner’s efforts to secure a project to share nuclear power technology with Saudi Arabia, despite concerns of senior U.S. officials.
A spokesman for Kushner said in a statement to The New York Times that Kushner “fully abided by all legal and ethical guidelines both during and after his government service,” also noting his success in reaching peace deals in the Middle East.
“He is proud to be among many private sector stakeholders advancing connectivity between Americans, Israelis and Arabs to encourage continued regional progress,” the spokesman said.