Dems question potential Kushner real estate deal with Chinese firm

Dems question potential Kushner real estate deal with Chinese firm
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Democratic lawmakers are raising conflicts-of-interest questions over a real estate project between a Chinese firm and the family of President Trump's son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner.

Kushner Companies, the real-estate developer owned by Kushner's family, is in talks with China-based Anbang Insurance Group over a potential investment in a building at 666 Fifth Ave. in Manhattan. Bloomberg reported last month that the family could make as much as $400 million off the deal.

Sens. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenOvernight Finance: Lawmakers grill Equifax chief over hack | Wells Fargo CEO defends bank's progress | Trump jokes Puerto Rico threw budget 'out of whack' | Mortgage tax fight tests industry clout Michelle Obama is exactly who the Democrats need to win big in 2020 Wells Fargo chief defends bank's progress in tense Senate hearing MORE (D-Mass.), Tom CarperThomas (Tom) Richard CarperOvernight Energy: Dems take on Trump's chemical safety pick Dems lambaste Trump’s ‘outrageous’ EPA chemical safety pick Infrastructure spending bill sliding down agenda MORE (D-Del.), Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownDems plan to make gun control an issue in Nevada Mandel leads GOP primary for Ohio Senate seat: internal poll Red-state Dems need more from Trump before tax embrace MORE (D-Ohio), Gary Peters (D-Mich.) and Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.) voiced their concerns in letters to Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and the Office of White House Counsel released Saturday.

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"Recent reports indicate that Anbang, a company closely tied to the Chinese government, 'is in advanced talks' to purchase and renovate 666 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, a Kushner-owned property located mere blocks from Trump Tower," Warren's office said in a release.

"The terms of the deal - described as 'unusually favorable' to the Kushner family - would provide the family with a sizeable cash payout and ownership stake. Reports indicate that Anbang may determine whether to finalize the deal imminently," it added.

According to a statement, the lawmakers "expressed concern about the possible conflicts of interest that would result from such a transaction, as well as its potential implications for national security."

Despite the fact that Trump's adviser stepped down as CEO of Kushner Companies, the Democrats maintained that the deal "if codified, appears to present a clear conflict of interest for Jared Kushner."

"Documents made available to the public do not fully clarify how Kushner has divested from his business interests and if this divestment is complete," the statement read.
 
"Absent these documents, it is impossible to determine the extent to which Mr. Kushner or his immediate family may benefit from the Anbang sale," the lawmakers maintained.
 
In a letter to Mnuchin, the Democrats inquired if the inter-agency Committee on Foreign Investments in the United Status (CFIUS) will probe the potential deal between Anbang and Kushner Companies, and if Kushner's involvement in business negotiations create a potential risk to national security. 
 
The second letter sent to the White House Counsel requested a clarification about the extent of Kusher's involvement in the deal and additional details regarding Kushner's divestments from his company.