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US House panel probes whether Kushner’s Mideast policies tied to business interests

Oversight committee is looking into Saudi investment in Trump son-in-law’s firm after his favorable actions; he insists he did it all for good of US-Israel-Arab relations

White House Senior Adviser Jared Kushner during a meeting in the Cabinet Room at the White House in Washington, DC on October 23, 2017. Right: Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman attends a meeting with Lebanon's Christian Maronite patriarch on November 14, 2017, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (Photos by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images; Fayez Nureldine/AFP/Getty Images)
White House Senior Adviser Jared Kushner during a meeting in the Cabinet Room at the White House in Washington, DC on October 23, 2017. Right: Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman attends a meeting with Lebanon's Christian Maronite patriarch on November 14, 2017, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (Photos by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images; Fayez Nureldine/AFP/Getty Images)

A US House committee on Thursday announced the launch of a probe into Jared Kushner over Saudi investment in his private equity firm, and whether his ties to the kingdom influenced American policy in the Middle East while he served as a senior adviser to his father-in-law, former president Donald Trump.

Democratic Representative Carolyn Maloney of New York, who heads the Committee on Oversight and Reform, sent a letter to Kushner seeking documents on Affinity Partners, which he set up last year. Among the investors was Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, which put $2 billion into Kushner’s firm.

“The Committee on Oversight and Reform is investigating whether you have improperly traded on your government position to obtain billions of dollars from the Saudi government and whether your personal financial interests improperly influenced US foreign policy,” she wrote to Kushner.

The letter noted Kushner’s close ties with powerful Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who chairs the sovereign wealth fund, as well as the Saudi royal’s reported decision to move forward with the investment despite concerns from advisors.

“Your support for Saudi interests was unwavering, even as Congress and the rest of the world closely scrutinized the country’s human rights abuses in Yemen, the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi assassins tied to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and Saudi Arabia’s crackdown on political dissidents at home,” Maloney charged.

She called on Kushner to present the documents by June 16.

Democratic Representative Carolyn Maloney of New York chairs a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, October 7, 2021. (Joshua Roberts/Pool via AP)

In a statement, a spokesman for Kushner said, “While achieving six peace deals in the Middle East, Mr. Kushner fully abided by all legal and ethical guidelines both during and after his government service.

“He is proud to be among many private sector stakeholders advancing connectivity between Americans, Israelis and Arabs to encourage continued regional progress,” the spokesman said.

Last month, The Wall Street Journal reported that Saudi Arabia was planning to invest millions in Israeli tech companies via Kushner’s firm.

Also Thursday, US President Joe Biden decided to visit Saudi Arabia during an upcoming trip that will also include a stop in Israel. Biden is expected to meet with the crown prince, Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler, who he once shunned as a “pariah.”

The US president is expected to push for the Saudis and their OPEC+ allies to pump more oil amid surging energy costs worldwide.

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