The Real Deal New York

House investigators ask: Was Kushner’s meeting with Russian bank official all about 666 Fifth?

The building has $1.3 billion in loans coming due in the next two years
June 02, 2017 04:30PM

Investigators working for the Intelligence Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives are looking into whether Jared Kushner’s December meeting with Sergey Gorkov, chairman of the sanctioned Vnesheconombank, was connected to Kushner Companies’ financial troubles at 666 Fifth Avenue TRData LogoTINY.

Officials told ABC News that they are investigating to see if the troubled asset made Kushner vulnerable to Russian interests. The building has $1.3 billion in loans coming due in the next two years and in many years has not made enough money from office rents to cover debt payments.

“It’s very peculiar that of all the people he could be talking to in a transition period where you’ve got lots of balls in the air, that you end up talking to a Russian banker who is under sanction and who is related to Putin and has a KGB background,” said Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA), a member of the intelligence committee. “I think the question has to be asked, was this about you trying to get financing for your troubled real estate that you have in New York City?”

Kushner, through spokespersons, has said he will comply with Congress’ ongoing investigation into contacts between members of the Trump campaign and Russian officials. Kushner’s undisclosed meeting with Russian ambassador Sergei Kislyak is also said to be a subject of investigative scrutiny.

In March, a spokesperson for the White House told the New York Times that no business was discussed in the 30-minute meeting with Gorkov, though Russian officials said the meeting was about business. Senate investigators at that time were also planning to question Kushner about financing for the tower, according to the New York Times.

In November, his father Charles Kushner met with Chinese conglomerate Anbang Insurance Group to discuss a joint venture partnership in the tower. A deal eventually fell through, however.

Earlier this week, Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen declined a request by investigators to provide information and may face a subpoena.  [ABC News] — Will Parker