"Corruption, Plain and Simple": Kushner Visa Scandal Snowballs
"Corruption, Plain and Simple": Kushner Visa Scandal Snowballs
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10 May, 2017, 03:08
White House sources confirmed to FOX Business that Kushner recused himself from working on the controversial EB-5 immigration program at the start of the administration amid potential concern that his involvement would have been perceived as a conflict of interest due to his White House role.
Nicole Kushner Meyer mentioned her relationship to her brother, President Donald Trump's son-in-law, during a presentation in which she was urging Chinese citizens to invest in a New Jersey project being managed by the family's real estate company.
The Kushner Companies apologized Monday, saying it had not meant to lure investors by using Jared Kushner's name at an investment promotion event held Saturday at a Ritz Carlton in Beijing.
Congress created the EB-5 Program in 1990 to stimulate the US economy through job creation and capital investment by foreign investors.
In 2014, Kushner Companies, under the leadership of Jared Kushner, teamed up with The Trump Organization, then led by Donald Trump, and KABR Group of New Jersey to work on their first big project known as Trump Bay Street, a 50-story luxury rental apartment building in Jersey City.
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One attendee told the Washington Post the Kushner family's ties to President Trump were clearly evident in the marketing for the project. Thus, the rich can buy their way to the front of the line for US citizenship.
Critics have faulted the program for failing to bring investment into downtrodden communities as intended.
The EB-5 program has been used to pave developments in Manhattan, San Francisco, Las Vegas and the area around Golden 1 Center in Sacramento.
Beyond the question of whether the program encourages development as intended lie allegations of political favoritism and national security risks.
USA officials have raised concerns about the vetting of investors, too.
"Invest $500,000 and immigrate to the United States", read one tagline on a brochure for the event.
In 2015, the Government Accountability Office warned that the program could not reliably catch fraud by visa applicants who bought into the program with money obtained through drug trade, human trafficking, or other criminal activities.
On Jan. 24, Feinstein and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, introduced S. 232 to end EB-5 visas.
President Trump extended the program only a day before Meyer's investor pitch as part of a massive federal spending bill, but there's no sign that the president did so in order to help the Kushners.
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President Obama had warned Trump against Flynn
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