Donald Trump’s Jewish son-in-law Jared Kushner faced yet more questions about his extensive business dealings with Israelis this week, after America’s financial regulator sought further information.
Heading a list of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) investigations is an “investment for visas” programme run by the Kushner family’s real estate business.
Elsewhere, documents were requested concerning millions of dollars of loans from Israeli companies immediately after Kushner’s position in the White House became established in the months after his father-in-law won the presidency.
According to the New York Times, Kushner’s company received $30 million from one of Israel’s biggest insurers, Menora Mivtachim, while there have been four loans from Bank Hapoalin, Israel’s largest.
Observers have long warned of a conflict of interests, with Kushner’s dealings in Israel particularly sensitive, because Trump gave him responsibility for a Middle East peace push shortly after entering the White House.
Kushner’s real estate developer Charles father built then lost a property empire, only for Jared to rebuild it again, to the delight of Trump, who made Kushner a senior advisor responsible for Middle East peace.
A White House spokesman backed Kushner as squeaky clean, saying: “We have tremendous confidence in the job Jared is doing leading our peace efforts… He takes the ethics rules very seriously and would never compromise himself or the administration.”
Kushner’s sister Nicole spent the summer wooing Chinese investors with the promise of U.S. residency using the EB-5 programme, which offers visas for investment. She later apologised for using his name in marketing presentations during which Chinese investors were asked to part with half a million dollars each.