US House panel examines whether Kushner’s Middle East policies are tied to business interests

A U.S. House committee on Thursday announced the launch of an investigation into Jared Kushner into Saudi investment in his private equity firm, and whether his ties to the kingdom have influenced U.S. policy in the Middle East. East while he was a senior adviser to his father-in-law. -law, former President Donald Trump.

Democratic Rep. Carolyn Maloney of New York, who heads the Oversight and Reform Committee, sent a letter to Kushner requesting documents about Affinity Partners, which he set up last year. Among the investors was the Saudi Public Investment Fund, which invested $2 billion in Kushner’s venture.

“The Oversight and Reform Committee is investigating whether you improperly negotiated your government position to obtain billions of dollars from the Saudi government and whether your personal financial interests improperly influenced U.S. foreign policy,” she wrote to Kushner.

The letter noted Kushner’s close ties to powerful Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who chairs the sovereign wealth fund, as well as the Saudi king’s announced decision to go ahead with the investment despite concerns from advisers.

“Your support for Saudi interests was unwavering, even as Congress and the rest of the world closely scrutinized the country’s human rights abuses in Yemen, the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi assassins linked to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Saudi Arabia’s crackdown on political dissidents at home,” Maloney charged.

She called on Kushner to submit the documents by June 16.

Democratic Rep. Carolyn Maloney of New York chairs a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Oct. 7, 2021. (Joshua Roberts/Pool via AP)

In a statement, a spokesperson for Kushner said, “While concluding six Middle East peace agreements, Mr. Kushner fully adhered to all legal and ethical guidelines during and after his government service.

“He is proud to be among the many private sector players advancing connectivity between Americans, Israelis and Arabs to encourage continued regional progress,” the spokesperson said.

Last month, the Wall Street Journal reported that Saudi Arabia planned to invest millions in Israeli tech companies through Kushner’s company.

Also on Thursday, US President Joe Biden decided to visit Saudi Arabia on an upcoming trip that will also include a stopover in Israel. Biden is expected to meet the crown prince, Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler, whom he once shunned as an “outcast.”

The US president is expected to push for the Saudis and their OPEC+ allies to pump more oil amid rising energy costs around the world.

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