A new CNN exclusive revealed late Thursday that Jared Kushner’s family business used his position in the White House to get meetings a New Jersey development project. The story comes after his family was forced to apologize for dropping his name during a sales pitch in May.
Kushner Companies is working with two businesses, both of whom mentioned his name in their online promotions as they search for Chinese investors for a 1 Journal Square development. In exchange for their $500,000 investment, they’ll score a US visa. The deal is part of the EB-5 government program that grants 10,000 immigrant visas each year.
CNN posted a screen capture of the promotions that say in Chinese that Kushner Companies is a “real estate heavyweight” and mentioned “the celebrity of the family is 30-something ‘Mr. Perfect’ Jared Kushner, who once served as CEO of Kushner Companies.”
In May, the US Immigration Fund, a private company in Florida, referenced Kushner’s cover on December’s Forbes Magazine with the headline reading “This guy got Trump elected.” When CNN reached out to the company for comment, the ad disappeared.
“In 2008, my brother Jared Kushner joined the family company as CEO,” Meyer told a crowd. She added, he “recently moved to Washington to join the administration.”
Kushner’s sister, Nicole Kushner Meyer was caught pitching in May to Chinese investors. Kushner’s lawyer claimed he wasn’t financially tied to the development and had no idea his sister was using his name. Meyer’s spokesperson said that the dropping of his name was in no way an attempt to snag investors using his White House influence.
Former George W. Bush ethics lawyer, Richard Painter said that the EB-5 presents a possible government-backed quid pro quo by promising immigration status for investments.
“What is not authorized is any arrangement where someone gets preference for their visa if they give money to a company that is controlled by the family of a United States government official,” said Painter.
“And unfortunately,” says Painter, “that implication was made in the selling efforts for this project.”
Democrats have raised questions about the Trump family using their influence to promote the Trump properties and the Trump name. Kushner is now under the microscope as well.