Jared Kushner has been doing a bustling business as a land developer since his father-in-law was elected, including his company’s most recent deal reported today, a $600Million loan from J.P.Morgan Chase & Co. to build a residential property on a parking lot in Brooklyn, purchased mere weeks after Trump won the presidency. Bloomberg:
Kushner and its partners put out a request for funds in October, but the agreement’s closure has been slowed as it was run up the chain of command at JPMorgan, according to one person familiar with the transaction. Kushner Cos. has been probed by investigators and lawmakers as it does deals while Jared Kushner is in the White House.
The deal follows a $200 million loan issued by Citigroup Inc. for a controversial Kushner project in New Jersey. Kushner Cos. and its partner at the tower had trouble finding lenders for that building after Jared Kushner’s sister traveled to China to pitch potential investors there.
Citi had issued a separate $325 million loan to Kushner Cos. properties in 2017 after Chief Executive Officer Mike Corbat met with Jared Kushner at the White House. Corbat and Kushner didn’t discuss Kushner family business at the meeting, and Corbat wasn’t aware of the loan at the time, Citi said.
Kushner Cos. and CIM purchased the parking lot for $345 million in December 2016, weeks after Trump won the presidency.
Kushner was supposed to put his interests into a blind trust managed by outside experts when he accepted his senior adviser post in the White House and he did not do so. There is no separation of his personal business interests and the interests of the United States and this, ironically, from the son-in-law of the swamp drainer in chief? Kushner is a swamp denizen, better than most Washington has known. Robert Reich, San Francisco Chronicle:
It’s as bad for a government official to look as if he’s lining his pockets as it is for him to actually do so, because the appearance of corruption undermines public trust just as readily as the real thing. And trust is what distinguishes an advanced democracy from a banana republic.
But Trump and the family members he’s brought into his White House don’t give a hoot about public trust. They have utter contempt for the common good. Government ethics officials have compared Trump’s administration to a game of Whac-a-Mole — go after one potential violation, and others pop up.
Perhaps Kushner tells himself that the American public is already so cynical about big money’s takeover of our democracy that his own apparent (or real) conflicts are chicken feed by comparison.
Which may be true. But by adding to the distrust, Kushner is doing his own bit to destroy American democracy — actions almost as treasonous as if he colluded with Russians to make his father-in-law president.
February, 2019 is when the big mortgage payment comes due on the white elephant 666 Fifth Avenue building, a giant phallus that was purchased in one of the most reckless real estate deals in Manhattan’s history, that Kushner acquired when he was 25 years old.
This is not going to end well, this level of corruption never does. Trump hasn’t drained a swamp, he’s enabled a giant festering bog on the Potomac.