Jared Kushner’s investment firm draws House Oversight scrutiny

Affinity Partners raised $2B in funds from Saudi prince MBS

National /
Jun.June 03, 2022 10:00 AM
From left: Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, Jared Kushner (Getty Images/Photo Illustration by Steven Dilakian for The Real Deal)

From left: Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, Jared Kushner (Getty Images/Photo Illustration by Steven Dilakian for The Real Deal)

Jared Kushner is drawing the attention of the House Oversight Committee after landing a $2 billion investment from a fund led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia for his private equity firm.

New York Rep. Carolyn Maloney sent a letter to Kushner on Thursday, asking him to provide documents linked to the Public Investment Fund’s investment in Affinity Partners, the New York Times reported. Maloney also wants any correspondence between Kushner and the crown prince, giving Donald Trump’s son-in-law two weeks to provide the documents.

“Your close relationship with Crown Prince bin Salman, your pro-Saudi positions during the Trump administration, and PIF’s decision to fund the lion’s share of your new business venture — only six months after the end of your White House tenure create the appearance of a quid pro quo for your foreign policy work,” Maloney wrote.

Maloney isn’t alleging Kushner broke any laws, but is looking to build an argument on if stricter laws governing public officials’ business with past government counterparts.

“While achieving six peace deals in the Middle East, Mr. Kushner fully abided by all legal and ethical guidelines both during and after his government service,” a spokesperson for Kushner told the Times.

Affinity Partners landed the major investment only six months after Kushner departed his role as senior adviser at the White House. The investment came despite objections from a panel that screens investments on behalf of the Saudi sovereign wealth fund, which cited inexperienced management and public relations pushback among the concerns.

Kushner’s firm raised $2.5 billion for its main fund, meaning the Saudi sovereign wealth fund provided the bulk of the investment, the Times previously reported.

A portion of the investment has reportedly been earmarked for two Israeli startups, the first known instance of Saudi Arabian cash heading to the Jewish state.

Kushner’s fund has already drawn scrutiny from ethics watchdogs because of his time cultivating a relationship with the crown prince, as well as Trump’s potential presidential run in 2024. While working in the White House, Kushner was involved in the Abraham Accords, which aimed to open diplomatic relations between Israel and Arab states.

He was also part of a $110 billion weapons sale to Saudi Arabia over 10 years.

[NYT] — Holden Walter-Warner





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