Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), and Representative Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, recently sent letters to Citigroup and Apollo Global Management seeking information on reports that the companies provided more than $500 million in loans to Kushner Companies, the family business of Senior Advisor to the President Jared Kushner, after meeting with him in the White House.
In January 2017, Kushner announced that he was stepping down as CEO of Kushner Companies to work as a Senior Advisor to President Trump. However, Kushner, they allege, appears to have maintained financial holdings with his former company over the course of his first year serving in the White House. Kushner's interactions with Apollo and Citigroup, they claim, have raised new questions about his conflicts of interest.
"Federal ethics laws prohibit federal employees from profiting from their government service,” wrote the senators. "It would be a serious matter if the loans provided to Kushner Companies by Apollo and Citigroup resulted in a violation of federal ethics laws."
According to the New York Times, Apollo's founder, Joshua Harris, began "paying regular visits to the White House" in early 2017-including multiple meetings over the course of the year with Kushner They included discussions “of a possible White House job for Mr. Harris,” the newspaper alleged.
In November 2017, Apollo lent $184 million to Kushner Companies to "refinance the mortgage on a Chicago skyscraper." The loan was "triple the size of the average property loan made by Apollo's real estate lending arm" and was "one of the largest loans Kushner Companies received last year."
Kushner also allegedly met with Citigroup's CEO Michael Corbatand, and shortly thereafter Citigroup provided Kushner Companies "and one of its partners $325 million to help finance a group of office buildings in Brooklyn."
The senators have asked Citigroup and Apollo to provide a list of all loans made to Kushner Companies, all meetings held in person or by phone between them, and all documents and communications related to any loans made to any entity affiliated with or partnered with Kushner Companies. Their deadline: March 20, 2018.