File this under “classic rookie mistake.” Don’t sell yourself as a player with access to powerful senators unless you get their buy in BEFORE you start spreading that around. This is especially true if you plan on running that game in public.
Apparently, Kushner Companies forgot to ask permission, and sure as hell didn’t offer any contributions or compensation before whoring out Grassley’s name when they pitched the Money-for-Visa deal to their Chinese prospects. Awkward!
There is no way in hell Jared is going to get out of this mess without first taking a beating. His sister, Nicole Meyer led the pitch seeking to raise $150 million from Chinese investors interested in getting US Visas.
One may ask, “why would they do something this brazen?” That’s a good question. Turns out they are just taking a page for Don The Con’s playbook. When backed in to a corner, look for new marks. As Mingtiandi, a Chinese real estate trade publication, notes:
The EB-5 sales drive is the latest China funding controversy for the Kushners, whose company reportedly had been in prolonged discussions with mainland investor Anbang Insurance to provide $400 million in funding for the New York firm’s 666 Fifth Avenue project.
With Anbang now accused of illicit market practices and having recently been disciplined by China’s insurance regulator, that investment deal has since ground to a halt.
Putting Grassley’s mug up there sure makes it look like he’s in on this scheme. I wonder how he felt about that? No need to guess. Reading his public response to this doesn’t make it sound like he is a happy camper. The Hill reports:
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, is calling for an investigation into “potentially fraudulent statements and misrepresentations” [emphasis added] made by a Chinese company promoting investments in property partly managed by White House adviser Jared Kushner’s family’s company.
Actually, forget about asking how happy he is. Grassley’s cheerful disposition looks like it has taken an extended vacation.
“Given all of these concerns, a closer look at Qiaowai Group and the U.S. Immigration Fund are clearly warranted, as reports suggest both companies have long employed questionable practices,” Grassley wrote.
This is the sort of thing that happens when you don’t do your homework. Grassley has, shall we say, not been a fan of the EB-5 program. It’s not exactly a secret, either. Washington Monthly reports:
Chuck Grassley has had problems with the EB-5 for a while now, describing it as a program that “has been rife with fraud and national security weaknesses.” In February, he teamed with Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA) to introduce a bill that would terminate the EB-5.
Good thing Jared’s plate isn’t full. A congressional inquiry from the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee (the folks who have jurisdiction on matters of immigration) and a guy who also has served on the Judiciary Committee ever since he joined the Senate isn’t the sort of thing you take care of with a couple of memos and a phone call.
The only way that could be worse is if you had people like Franken, Leahy, Whitehouse, Feinstein, Sasse and Graham on the committee as well. Wait… what’s that? They are all on that committee?! Oh dear.
Looks like Jamie Gorelick is going to have her hands full. Now she is going to be fighting a two-front war. One on the Russian Front and a second one managing the China Problem. Good thing Jared’s in real estate. The billables for handling this committee’s inquiries — by themself — could easily pay for a summer home in the Hamptons.
It’s going to be a long, hot summer.