Jared Kushner’s Family Business Got $30 Million From Israeli Firm Ahead of Trump Visit

Just prior to President Donald Trump’s first diplomatic visit to Israel, his son-in-law and chief Middle East negotiator Jared Kushner’s family received $30 million in investment from a prominent Israeli firm.

Shortly before last May’s official visit Kushner’s family real estate company received the multi-million dollar investment from the insurance broker Menora Mivtachim, one of the country’s largest financial institutions, for 10 Maryland apartment complexes, according to a report in The New York Times.

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According to the Times, the transactions do not appear to break federal ethic laws that would require Kushner, who has been given a critical diplomatic brief as White House adviser on the peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians, to recuse himself.

The ethics rules require officials to step back from government decisions that would have a “direct and predictable effect” on his financial investments.

GettyImages-686791232 US President Donald J Trump (L) and White House senior adviser Jared Kushner meet with Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) at the King David Hotel May 22, 2017 in Jerusalem, Israel. Trump arrived for a 28-hour visit to Israel and the Palestinian Authority areas on his first foreign trip since taking office in January. Kobi Gideon/GPO via Getty Images

However, the deal with Menora shows how the Kushner Companies' ties to Israel continue despite Jared Kushner’s sensitive work in the region. Observers have commented Kushner’s ongoing ties to the business could undercut his ability to be seen as an independent broker.

In the wake of president Trump’s announcement last month that the U.S. would move its embassy to Jerusalem and recognize the disputed city as the capital of Israel, Palestinian leadership has already said it no longer views the United States as a possible broker in the peace deal.

“I think it’s reasonable for people to ask whether his business interests are somehow affecting his judgment,” Matthew T. Sanderson, a lawyer at Caplin & Drysdale in Washington told the Times.

The deal between Kushner Companies and Menora Mivtachim was not made public but funneled investment into apartment buildings in and around Baltimore. While Kushner has sold parts of his business since his move into the Trump administration last year, he retains financial stakes in the business.

The transaction with the holding group is the latest in a number of deals between the Kushners and Israeli interests. They include another arrangement involving one of the country’s wealthiest families and two major Israeli banks, Bank Hapoalim and Bank Leumi. The latter bank is subject to criminal investigations for allegedly help U.S. evade taxes, according to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

The White House told the Times the Trump administration has “tremendous confidence in the job Jared is doing leading our peace efforts, and he takes the ethics rules very seriously and would never compromise himself or the administration.”

The Kushner Companies told the paper the the company did not do business with foreign governments and was not precluded from working with foreign companies because of Jared Kushner’s role.

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