White House attorneys investigating whether loans to Kushner Companies violated law: report

Jared Kushner met with Apollo, Citibank prior to loans being provided

Jared Kushner, Citigroup's Michael Corbat and Apollo's Leon Black
From left: Jared Kushner, Citigroup's Michael Corbat and Apollo's Leon Black

White House attorneys are determining whether $509 million worth of loans received by Kushner Companies violated federal ethics regulations or laws, according to a new report.

Apollo Global Management and Citigroup respectively provided $184 million and $325 million in loans to Kushner and affiliates for real estate projects. The transactions raised questions after the New York Times reported that top executives for the lenders met with Jared Kushner in his capacity as White House aide prior to the loans being provided.

The Office of Government Ethics disclosed on Monday that it was investigating whether a regulation or law had been violated, Bloomberg reported. Executives from Apollo and Citigroup have both denied discussing the loans with the president’s son-in-law.

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“The White House counsel concluded there was were no issues involving Jared,” Abbe Lowell, an attorney for Kushner, said in a statement. “He was not involved with his former company after he entered government service; the transactions in question came after that; he had nothing to do with those transactions; the transactions had nothing to do with any of his meetings in the White House, and the people from the companies involved have confirmed that as well.”

Kushner Companies received the Apollo financing in November for a fully-leased skyscraper in Chicago, while the Citibank loan was received in March 2017 and intended for refinancing a Brooklyn office complex. It appears that Kushner and an unnamed partner used the loan as part of a deal to buy Invesco out of the Dumbo Heights complex in Brooklyn.

Shortly after the meeting, Citigroup in the spring lent Kushner Companies and an unnamed partner $325 million. Kushner and the partner appear to have used the loan as part of the deal to buy Invesco out of the Dumbo Heights complex in Brooklyn.

A spokesperson for Kushner previously told The Real Deal that the Dumbo Heights loan was negotiated with one of Kushner’s business partners. The spokesperson also maintained that the stories about the loan deals were politically motivated, and that there was no wrongdoing on Kushner’s part. [Bloomberg] — Kathryn Brenzel