The White House on Tuesday downplayed reports it is investigating whether White House senior adviser and President Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner violated federal ethics regulations by meeting with executives from Apollo Global Management and Citigroup shortly before each company loaned millions of dollars to his family’s business.
Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Tuesday that the White House Counsel is “not probing whether Jared Kushner violated the law.”
“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 Jared Kushner violated the law,” Sanders said.
Apollo loaned $184 million to the Kushner Companies, while Citigroup loaned $325 million to the business.
David Apol, the acting director of the Office of Government Ethics (OGE), said in a letter obtained by The Wall Street Journal that he spoke with the White House Counsel’s Office about the meetings.
“I have discussed this matter with the White House Counsel’s Office in order to ensure that they have begun the process of ascertaining the facts necessary to determine whether any law or regulation has been violated and whether any additional procedures are necessary to avoid violations in the future,” Apol wrote.
“During that discussion, the White House informed me that they had already begun this process. I have asked the White House to inform me of the results of that process,” Apol added.
However, according to Sanders, the White House informed the OGE that it “would proceed as appropriate.”
Kushner’s private attorney, Abbe Lowell, told the Wall Street Journal that after looking into reports about the loans, “the White House counsel concluded there was were no issues involving Jared.”
The Hill added:
The investigation is the latest headache for Kushner, whose standing has been damaged by a swirl of negative headlines over the past month.
The White House recently downgraded Kushner’s top secret security clearance after it was revealed he did not pass a background check.
His personal finances are the subject of interest for special counsel Robert Mueller, who is leading the Russia investigation, and New York state officials.
The Washington Post reported last month that foreign governments have tried to use the 37-year-old’s lack of government experience and business ties to gain leverage over him.