Senate Democrats Launch Probe Of Foreign Payments To Jared Kushner’s Firm

Democrats are increasing their scrutiny of Jared Kushner’s business activities.

Senate Finance Committee chair Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) asked Kushner’s firm, Affinity Partners, for details about its investors on Wednesday, including the $2 billion it received from the Saudi Arabian government’s Public Investment Fund in 2021.

“Mr. Kushner’s limited track record as an investor, including his nonexistent experience in private equity or hedge funds, raise questions regarding the investment strategy behind the seeding investments and lucrative compensation that Affinity received from the Saudi PIF and other sovereign wealth funds,” Wyden wrote.

A panel that screens investments for the Saudi sovereign wealth fund warned against investing with Kushner, given his inexperience in finance, but the full board, led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, overruled the panel, The New York Times reported in 2022.

Kushner advised Trump on foreign affairs, guided his administration to embrace Saudi Arabia as an ally, and remained in close contact with the crown prince even after he was implicated in the dismembering of American journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

“The Saudi PIF’s decision to invest $2 billion in Affinity so soon after Kushner’s departure from the Trump White House raises concerns that the investment was a reward for official actions Kushner took to benefit the Saudi government, including preventing accountability for the Saudi government ordering the brutal murder of journalist and American citizen Jamal Khashoggi,” Wyden wrote.

Wyden’s letter asked Affinity Partners for details about its seeding investments, the investments made by the firm, as well as the fees it has received, and the amount Kushner has been paid. The company did not immediately respond to requests for comment made through its website.

Wyden’s letter represents an escalation of Democratic scrutiny of Kushner’s business activities, which have been controversial from the start. Even House Oversight Committee chair James Comer (R-Ky.), an aggressive defender of Donald Trump, said last year that he thought Kushner “crossed the line of ethics” with his Saudi deal.

Comer has overseen Republicans’ impeachment inquiry against Joe Biden, which has largely focused on business deals by the president’s son. Republicans have said he improperly traded on his father’s former position as vice president during the Obama administration.

Democrats on Comer’s committee have highlighted the millions Trump’s business received from foreign governments while he was president and also questioned Kushner’s Saudi payday. Unlike Wyden, however, House Democrats don’t have subpoena power because Democrats don’t have a majority in the chamber.