Jared Kushner Gets Lucky $2B Cash From Saudis, Slightly Less Lucky House Investigation Into That Cash

Last night the House Oversight Committee announced an investigation into Jared Kushner's dealings with Saudi Arabia.

"We are writing to you over concerns that you improperly traded on your government position carrying out the Trump Administration’s foreign policy in the Middle East to benefit your personal financial interests after leaving government office," Chair Carolyn Maloney wrote in an eight-page letter to the Boy Wonder laying out the extremely suspicious circumstances surrounding Saudi Arabia's $2 billion investment in his brand new hedge fund.

"For four years, you led the Trump Administration’s foreign policy in the Middle East, despite lacking any meaningful diplomatic experience, and despite significant conflicts of interest stemming from your family’s lucrative business dealings in the region," she went on, adding that the committee "is investigating whether you have improperly traded on 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, former President Trump."

It's a possibility!

The New York Times recently got details of the Saudi sovereign wealth fund's $2 billion infusion of cash into Kushner's private equity firm, Affinity Partners, which was incorporated in Delaware on January 21, 2021, approximately ten seconds after Trump got booted out of the White House. Clearly the project was in the works long before Kush left government service, and indeed Kushner took multiple trips to the Middle East in his last few weeks as a White House adviser.

"During the final two months of the Trump Administration, after President Trump lost reelection to President Biden, you traveled twice to Saudi Arabia, reportedly meeting with senior Saudi officials both times," Maloney noted pointedly. "While these trips were nominally to advance U.S. government priorities, you returned to the region shortly thereafter as a private citizen, reportedly to raise funds for Affinity."

As the Times reported, Kushner, who has approximately zero money management experience, got a sweetheart deal from the Saudis thanks to his good buddy Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who overrode his own due diligence guys since they objected to "the inexperience of the Affinity Fund management” and found the proposal “unsatisfactory in all aspects.” Kush's bestest buddy Mo got the board to greenlight the money anyway, because the risk was worth the opportunity to “capitalize on the capabilities of Affinity’s founders’ deep understanding of different government policies and geopolitical systems.” Which is a polite way of saying they think Trump might wind up back in the White House, and they want to keep Jared sweet.

For comparison, former Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin, who has actual hedge fund experience and isn't notably an idiot, only got $1 billion. And he's getting a 1 percent fee, where Jared's hoovering up 1.25 percent. Plus the Saudi cash represents 80 percent of Affinity's total holdings, which is not freaking subtle.

As the Oversight Committee points out, there are two possible explanations for this oddly favorable treatment. Either MBS has a weird kink and gets off on setting fire to giant piles of cash (okay, they didn't say that), or he's returning a favor to the guy who talked US arms makers into selling him $110 billion of heavy weapons on the cheap, convinced Trump to blockade Qatar despite the presence of an actual US military base in the tiny country, and made sure that there would be no consequence for the assassination of Saudi-American journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Turkey.

Now, we are under no delusion that Kush is going to cough up "All communications between you and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman or other Saudi officials from January 2017 to the present, and all documents related to such communications, related to your or your family’s present or future business ventures, including but not limited to Saudi investments or participation in any of these ventures," among many of the other broad requests from the committee. But let's just say that it's instructive that Republicans spent years pretending that Joe Biden, as vice president, changed American foreign policy on Ukraine so that his idiot son could pick up a few million bucks, despite the fact that Biden's call to fire Ukraine's corrupt prosecutor was the consensus of the EU and the entire US foreign policy establishment. Hell, they defended Trump's attempt to extort the president of Ukraine over it because, hell, all that nonsense Giuliani was spewing about Joe Biden being the mastermind of a plan to loot Ukrainian coffers might be true. Meanwhile, Jared's taking the Saudis for BILLIONS and they don't give a shit.

Republicans are champing at the bit to turn the House into a wall-to-wall Hunter Biden hearings emporium if and when they take back the gavel, and rightwing media is full of the president's idiot son's Pornhub search history. It's gross, and also so is Hunter Biden. We are in no fashion defending that guy, who is nastier than 10 Anthony Weiners put together. But when it comes to corruption, he's a rank amateur compared to Jared Kushner. And not for nothing, but we haven't forgotten the Saudis booking blocks of empty hotel rooms at Trump properties, to slip a few extra bills in Donald Trump's garter belt.

But her emails, right?

[Oversight Letter / NYT]

Keep Wonkette going forever! Not $2 billion worth, that would be unseemly.

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Liz Dye

Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.


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