Jared Kushner stands with Saudi officials in the White House

Then-White House senior adviser Jared Kushner stands among Saudi officials in the Oval Office at the White House on March 20, 2018 in Washington, D.C.

(Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Wyden Probes 'Deeply Concerning' Kushner Firm Payments From Gulf Monarchies

The Senate Finance Committee chair accused the former Trump adviser of "creating significant conflicts of interest and potential counterintelligence risks."

U.S. Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden on Wednesday announced a new probe into Trump-era White House adviser Jared Kushner's private investment firm Affinity Partners, 99% of whose $3 billion under management comes from foreign sources, mainly the sovereign wealth funds of Gulf dictatorships.

"It is deeply concerning that several Middle Eastern governments are using funds managed by Affinity as a means to pay tens of millions of dollars in fees every year to former President [Donald] Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, creating significant conflicts of interest and potential counterintelligence risks," Wyden (D-Ore.) wrote in a letter to Lauren Key, Affinity's chief financial officer.

"These arrangements also raise concerns that Affinity's exclusively foreign-funded private investment funds are being exploited as a loophole by Mr. Kushner and other former U.S. government officials as a means to avoid complying with the Foreign Agents Registration Act and other U.S. laws requiring U.S. persons to disclose payments from foreign governments," the senator said.

Wyden pointed out that almost all of the money under management by Affinity comes from the sovereign wealth funds of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Qatar:

The largest source of funding for Affinity appears to be a $2 billion investment from the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF)... made in June 2021, shortly after Mr. Kushner left the White House. The remaining $1 billion is split between sovereign wealth funds owned by the governments of the United Arab Emirates and Qatar; Terry Gou, a Taiwanese billionaire and politician who is the founder of the world's largest electronics manufacturer; and another investor whose identity has not been publicly reported.

Wyden said the Saudi PIF buy-in "raises concerns that the investment was a reward for official actions Kushner took to benefit the Saudi government, including preventing accountability for the Saudi government ordering the brutal murder" of journalist and permanent U.S. resident Jamal Khashoggi.

"Private investment funds that take money exclusively from foreign politically exposed investors present heightened national security and other risks," Wyden's letter asserts. "From a national security perspective, the U.S. government has recently highlighted how the opacity and lightly regulated status of private funds can present risk to national security."

Wyden is asking Key to list all of Affinity's clients, how much they've invested, and their annual rates of return. The senator is also seeking information about the company's employees; their roles, responsibilities, and compensation; and "whether the individual meets with or liaises directly with representatives of foreign sovereign wealth funds, including the Saudi PIF, as part of their professional responsibilities."

This isn't the first time that Wyden has questioned Kushner's business ties to Gulf dictatorships. In 2022, the senator sought details regarding possible Qatari involvement in a 2018 real estate deal in which Brookfield Asset Management, a Canadian firm, paid Kushner Companies for a 99-year-lease on 666 5th Avenue, one of the premier properties in the Kushner family portfolio.

Earlier this year, House Democrats led by Reps. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) and Robert Garcia (D-Calif.) urged colleagues to hold hearings over Kushner's "apparent influence peddling and quid pro quos" during the period in which he led critical foreign policy negotiations including over the Abraham Accords agreements between Israel and several Middle Eastern and North African nations.

During his White House tenure, Kushner faced repeated calls to resign as Trump's senior adviser, mostly over concerns about possible conflicts of interest related to his business dealings.

Kushner said earlier this year that he will not accept any official administration position if Trump—the presumptive 2024 Republican presidential nominee, despite his recent felony conviction and dozens of pending federal and state criminal charges—is reelected.

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