Jared Kushner, senior advisor to President Donald J. Trump, sits in on a meeting with Marine Corps Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, at the Ministry of Defense in Baghdad, Iraq, April 3, 2017. (Photo: Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Dominique A. Pineiro, via Flickr @thejointstaff).
The latest scandal from the President Donald Trump administration involves secretive foreign investments in a company in which the president's son-in-law and advisor Jared Kushner has a stake.
As The Guardian reported Monday, real estate speculation corporation Cadre, which was co-founded by Kushner, has received at least $90 million in overseas capital since 2017.
The money came through financial services conglomerate Goldman Sachs via the Cayman Islands, making the original sources impossible to track. Neither Cadre nor Goldman are required to make the investors public and neither company has expressed any interest in doing so.
Though Kushner reduced his share in Cadre to a minority stake of under 25 percent after joining the administration, he did not list his interest in the company in an early disclosure form.
"It was one of the only assets that Kushner retained and it continues to collect foreign investors without transparency," Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington chief ethics counsel Virginia Canter said in comments to The Guardian.
Cadre allows investors to play the real estate market like the stock market, buying and selling properties like investments and using combined purchasing power to obtain large pieces of real estate with less risk. The company partnered with Goldman in January 2018 to allow a total investment of up to $250 million from Goldman's clients; Goldman began collecting funds for Cadre in August 2017, reported The Guardian.
The news was just the latest "regular Monday morning outrage," tweeted journalist Rob Garver.
The investments may be legal, but the murky source of the cash and Kushner's lack of disclosure and other ethical issues make the entire situation look bad, George Washington University law professor Jessica Tillipman told The Guardian.
"It will cause people to wonder whether he is being improperly influenced," said Tillipman.
"I'll believe that Jared Kushner is growing into his role as a White House staffer when he learns to disclose all the ways a foreign government could bribe him," said Drezner.
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