Democrats press White House for results of Kushner inquiry - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Democrats press White House for results of Kushner inquiry

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By STEPHEN BRAUN
Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) - Two House Democrats pressed the White House counsel's office Tuesday to provide results from a newly revealed internal inquiry into more than $500 million in loans made last year by two companies to Trump administration senior adviser Jared Kushner's family firm. The loans coincided with Kushner's meetings with executives of those companies.

Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., and Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Ill., asked White Counsel Don McGahn by letter Tuesday to provide documents showing any results from the Kushner inquiry and documents relating to more than $500 million in loans last year to Kushner Cos. from Citigroup and Apollo Global Management.

The head of the government's ethics agency informed Krishnamoorthi last week about the White House inquiry into whether any ethics or criminal laws were broken in Kushner's dealings with the two companies. David J. Apol, acting director of the U.S. Office of Government Ethics, told Krishnamoorthi that White House lawyers were probing whether the loans to Kushner Cos. may have spurred ethics or criminal violations.

Apol said that when he raised concerns with White House lawyers about the loans and whether they should look into the matter, "the White House informed me that they had already begun the process."

Kushner's lawyer, Abbe Lowell, said late Monday that it was his understanding that "the White House counsel concluded there were no issues involving Jared." Several White House officials contacted by The Associated Press were not immediately available to confirm whether White House lawyers had already completed the inquiry.

Lowell denied any improprieties by Kushner, saying "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."

Both companies have insisted their officials did nothing wrong in meeting with Kushner. In one case cited by the Times, Citigroup lent $325 million to Kushner Cos. in spring 2017 shortly after Kushner met with Citi's chief executive, Michael Corbat. Last week, Citigroup's general counsel told several Democratic lawmakers in a letter that the loan was "completely appropriate."

In a second case, Kushner met several times with Apollo co-founder Joshua Harris and discussed a possible White House job - followed by Apollo's loan of $184 million to the Kushner family firm. An Apollo spokesman previously told The Associated Press that Harris "never discussed with Jared Kushner a loan, investment, or any other business arrangement or regulatory matter involving Apollo."

In a separate letter last week to Democratic lawmakers, an Apollo official added that "to our knowledge, Jared Kushner did not play any role on behalf of Kushner Companies with respect" to the loan.

In their letter Tuesday, Krishnamoorthi and Cummings raised concerns that White House lawyers had previously ignored requests about for information about Kushner "given the increasing number of allegations about Mr. Kushner using his role in the White House to benefit his family's company.

Kushner Cos. has previously defended its role in the two loans. A spokeswoman for Kushner Cos. said Monday the firm had not received any correspondence from the White House.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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