White House denies probe into loans to Kushner company - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

White House denies probe into loans to Kushner company

Posted: Updated:

By STEPHEN BRAUN
Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) - The White House denied Tuesday that senior adviser Jared Kushner is under investigation by the White House Counsel's office over possible ethical or criminal violations in connection with more than $500 million in loans made last year to his family real estate company.

The head of the government's ethics agency had told a Democratic House member that White House lawyers had acknowledged they "had already begun the process" of looking into possible ethics and legal issues spawned by the loans. Kushner met last year with executives from the two companies that made the loans to Kushner Cos.

Even as White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders firmly denied any formal investigation into Kushner, she acknowledged that the White House Counsel's office often plays a role in checking whether ethics guidelines have been met by administration officials.

"While the White House Counsel's office does follow-up with staff to assist with compliance with various ethics standards, it is not probing whether Kushner violated the law," Sanders said.

The acting director of the U.S. Office of Government Ethics, David Apol, did not say Kushner was under formal investigation, but had indicated that he was told by the White House that its lawyers were looking into whether the loans had spurred any ethics or legal concerns. Apol revealed the White House Counsel's role in a letter sent last week to Democratic Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Ill.

"The White House indicated to OGE that we are aware of news reports and would proceed as appropriate," Sanders said. "Beyond that, we do not and will not have any further comment."

Kushner is President Donald Trump's son-in-law and has played key roles in the Trump administration's domestic and foreign policy initiatives.

Kushner's lawyer, Abbe Lowell, said Monday it was his understanding that "the White House counsel concluded there were no issues involving Jared." 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."

Earlier Tuesday, Krishnamoorthi and Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., asked White House Counsel Don McGahn to provide documents showing results of the Kushner inquiry. Sanders would not specifically say if the administration would comply with the oversight request.

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.

Citigroup and Apollo Global Management, the two firms that made the loans to the Kushner real estate firm, have insisted their officials did nothing wrong in meeting with Kushner.

In one case cited by The New York 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 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."

__

Associated Press writer Zeke Miller contributed to this report.

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

  • More From wfmj.comHot ClicksMore>>

  • Hawaii lava boat tours continue after explosion, injuries

    Hawaii lava boat tours continue after explosion, injuries

    Wednesday, July 18 2018 9:23 PM EDT2018-07-19 01:23:22 GMT
    (Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources via AP). This photo provided by the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources shows damage to the roof of a tour boat after an explosion sent lava flying through the roof off the Big Island of Hawa...(Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources via AP). This photo provided by the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources shows damage to the roof of a tour boat after an explosion sent lava flying through the roof off the Big Island of Hawa...
    Hawaii tour boat operators plan to continue taking visitors to see lava, but will follow the Coast Guard's revised policy and stay farther away after an explosion caused molten rock to barrel through the roof of a...More >>
    Hawaii tour boat operators plan to continue taking visitors to see lava, but will follow the Coast Guard's revised policy and stay farther away after an explosion caused molten rock to barrel through the roof of a vessel, injuring 23 people.More >>
  • Jupiter's moon count reaches 79, including tiny 'oddball'

    Jupiter's moon count reaches 79, including tiny 'oddball'

    Wednesday, July 18 2018 9:23 PM EDT2018-07-19 01:23:12 GMT
    (GSFC) via AP, File). FILE - This April 3, 2017 image made available by NASA shows the planet Jupiter.   A team of astronomers is reporting the recent discovery of a dozen new moons circling the giant gas planet. That brings the number of moons at Jupi...(GSFC) via AP, File). FILE - This April 3, 2017 image made available by NASA shows the planet Jupiter. A team of astronomers is reporting the recent discovery of a dozen new moons circling the giant gas planet. That brings the number of moons at Jupi...
    Scientists have found more moons circling Jupiter, bringing the total to 79 at the giant gas planet.More >>
    Scientists have found more moons circling Jupiter, bringing the total to 79 at the giant gas planet.More >>
  • MGM sues Vegas shooting victims in push to avoid liability

    MGM sues Vegas shooting victims in push to avoid liability

    Wednesday, July 18 2018 2:19 PM EDT2018-07-18 18:19:31 GMT
    MGM Resorts International has sued hundreds of victims of the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history in a bid to avoid liability for the gunfire that rained down from its Mandalay Bay casino-resort in Las...More >>
    MGM Resorts International has sued hundreds of victims of the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history in a bid to avoid liability for the gunfire that rained down from its Mandalay Bay casino-resort in Las Vegas.More >>
Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 WFMJ. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms