Senate intelligence committee to ask Kushner if he tried to get 666 Fifth financing during meeting with Russian banker

Inquiry part of a broader look into ties between administration and Russia

Jared Kushner (Credit: Getty Images)
Jared Kushner (Credit: Getty Images)

Senate investigators in Washington are planning to ask Jared Kushner if he sought additional financing for 666 Fifth Avenue during a meeting with a Russian banker in December.

The Senate Intelligence Committee told the White House this month that it wanted to question Kushner about meetings he set up with Russian ambassador Sergey I. Kislyak, the New York Times reported. It’s part of a broader look into the administration and its possible ties to Russia.

The White House has acknowledged that Kushner met with Kislyak at Trump Tower in December. Kushner later met with Sergey N. Gorkov, head of the Vnesheconombank, a bank whose board is controlled by members of Vladimir Putin’s government and has been used to bail out oligarchs and fund pet projects.

At the time of the meetings, Kushner had not stepped down from his position as CEO of Kushner Companies, and was trying to attract investors to inject money into the trophy building. During the same period, he was negotiating with Anbang Insurance Group to redevelop the office tower, which Kushner Companies said could leave the building valued at either $7 billion or $12 billion. (TRD has questioned the economics of the potential redevelopment, and questioned if a deal would really close.)

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Hope Hicks, a spokesperson for the White House, told the Times that no business was discussed in the 30-minute session with Gorkov, nor did the sanctions against entities such as Vnesheconombank come up.

Kushner’s father-in-law President Trump approved his meeting with the foreign officials with the understanding that he would report back on anything of note, the Times reported. A White House spokesperson said Kushner did not mention anything to senior staff members because he thought the meetings were inconsequential.

Kushner would be the closest person to the president to be questioned by the Senate’s panel. The FBI is looking into Russia’s potential interference in the election, though there is no indication Kushner is a focus of the investigation.

“He isn’t trying to hide anything and wants to be transparent,” a spokesperson for the White House said. [NYT]Rich Bockmann