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Jared Kushner built luxury condos using real estate grants meant for poor communities: report

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Among the flurry of articles surrounding President Donald Trump’s adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner, one of the less headline-grabbing stories centers on some of Kushner’s more unsavory business practices at the helm of his family’s real estate company.

Those stories got a boost with a new Washington Post report that details how Kushner utilized a legal loophole that critics compare to gerrymandering to apply for a federal program that saved him $50 million on his company’s luxury condos in Jersey City, New Jersey, just across the Hudson River from Manhattan.

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The EB-5 visa program Kushner and his business partners used to build the luxury towers at 65 Bay Street on the Hudson River waterfront “made it appear that the luxury tower was in an area with extraordinarily high unemployment, allowing Kushner Companies and its partners to get $50 million in low-cost financing through the EB-5 visa program,” according to the Post‘s Shawn Boburg.

“At the same time,” Boburg wrote, “they excluded some wealthy neighborhoods only blocks away.”

The loophole, which developers have reportedly used before, is legal, but “prominent members of both parties say has been plagued by fraud and abuse.” The Trump administration is considering legislation that would make EB-5 gerrymandering harder, and Kushner has reportedly said he’d recuse himself from the decision once it reaches the president’s desk.

The EB-5 program allows “wealthy foreigners” to get “a fast-track residence visa by investing at least $500,000 in a project in a ‘targeted employment area,'” the Post report said. “To qualify, the area must have an unemployment rate 1.5 times the national average. For developers, the terms of the investment are more favorable than a bank loan.”

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Kushner Companies (which the president’s son-in-law stopped working for once he joined the Trump administration) is reportedly trying to utilize the EB-5 program for yet another luxury property in Jersey City, this time to raise $150 million in the Journal Square neighborhood.

Read the entire report on Kushner’s real estate gerrymandering via the Post.

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Ex-AG Matt Whitaker ‘pretty much acknowledges abuse of power’ in Fox News interview

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The former acting Attorney General of the United States argued that presidential abuse of power is not a crime during a Tuesday evening appearance on Fox News.

Abuse of power is not a crime,” Matt Whitaker told Fox News personality Laura Ingraham.

Tufts University Professor Daniel Drezner was fascinated by the admission.

"Interesting that Whitaker pretty much acknowledges abuse of power but doesn’t think it’s egregious," Drezner noted.

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2020 Election

‘Abuse of power is not a crime’: Former acting AG Matt Whitaker makes a brazen claim on Fox News

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Former acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker told a Fox News audience that it is not a crime for President Donald Trump to abuse the power of his office.

Whitaker made the comments while complaining about "global elitists" during an interview with Laura Ingraham.

"What evidence of a crime do you have?" Whitaker asked, despite Trump, acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney and defense lawyer Rudy Giuliani all admitting Trump sought foreign election interference to help his struggling re-election campaign.

"Abuse of power is not a crime," the nation's former top law enforcement office argued.

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2020 Election

Joe Biden apologizes for ‘partisan lynching’ comments about Bill Clinton’s impeachment

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Former Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday apologized for comments he made saying impeachment could be viewed as a "partisan lynching."

The comments from a 1998 interview were reported after Biden said it was "abhorrent" and "despicable" for President Donald Trump to refer to impeachment as a lynching.

"Even if the President should be impeached, history is going to question whether or not this was just a partisan lynching or whether or not it was something that in fact met the standard, the very high bar, that was set by the founders as to what constituted an impeachable offense," Biden said in 1998.

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