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A $2 billion question

House Democrats seek 'full compliance' from Jared Kushner in Saudi Arabia investigation

Congressional Democrats are intensifying their efforts to investigate former White House adviser Jared Kushner over the Trump administration official's extensive financial entanglements with Saudi Arabia. In a letter to Kushner sent Wednesday demanding he "immediately produce all responsive documents" previously requested this past spring, House Oversight and Accountability ranking member Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) pointed to evidence that the former president's son-in-law "may have acted to benefit [his] personal financial and business interests to the tune of billions of dollars from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia shortly after leaving government office."

Raskin noted that during his time in the White House, Kushner had been specifically tasked with managing the president's Middle East agenda, including allegedly shielding Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman from the international uproar stemming from the assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. "Your efforts to protect the Crown Prince may have allowed him to maintain his position at the top of the Saudi government," Raskin wrote, adding that Trump and Kushner's work was subsequently reciprocated by the prince's "ability to deliver significant financial benefits to you and your father-in-law after the end of the Trump Administration."

The letter comes just days after The Washington Post reported that just one day after Trump left office, Kushner had begun work on creating a private equity firm into which a fund controlled by MBS contributed $2 billion dollars. The Saudi government has also partnered with the former president himself on the recently launched LIV Golf tour, while Trump's eponymous business has signed a separate agreement with a Saudi real estate firm for a hotel in a planned multi-billion dollar resort in neighboring Oman. As the Post noted, Kushner's firm was structured in such a way as to obscure the Saudi government's financial contributions from public scrutiny. Writing for MSNBC, columnist Zeeshan Aleem described the arrangement as an example of "breathtaking corruption" from the former president and his inner circle, writing that Kushner "may have known the financial relationship represented, at the very least, a conflict of interest," or worse still, "an attempt to cover up clues to deal-making that involved exchanging political favors for money."

Raskin's renewed interest in Kushner's relationship with the Saudi government comes as House Republicans have intensified their investigations into Hunter Biden, whom many in the GOP claim may have used his father's position to leverage financially beneficial business arrangements for the Biden family. Speaking with ABC's George Stephanopoulos on Sunday, House Oversight Committee Chair James Comer (R-Ky.) acknowledged that he didn't "disagree with the Democrats and their criticism of the previous administration," but refused to commit to launching a similar investigation into Kushner as the one he is spearheading against the Bidens.

Citing Comer's interview with Stephanopoulos and his acknowledgment of potential conflicts of interest between Trump, Kushner, and Saudi Arabia, Raskin wrote in a press release that he'd "invited him to join today's letter [to Kushner] but Chairman Comer declined."