Democrats 'Smell Wrongdoing,' Push for Answers on White House Kushner Probe

Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi pushed for answers over the conflicting statements around whether the White House investigated more than $500 million in loans to Jared Kushner's family-run real estate business on Wednesday, and said he and fellow Democrats "smell wrongdoing."

Related: Jared Kushner Should Be Fired After His Week From Hell, Democrats Say

"I and others have developed a strong sense of smell for corruption and wrongdoing in government," Representative Raja Krishnamoorthi of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform told Newsweek on Wednesday. "We smell wrongdoing right now at the White House."

The White House had launched an investigation into loans that Citigroup and Apollo Management Group reportedly made to Kushner Cos. after meeting with Kushner in his official capacity, the acting director and general counsel of the Office of Government Ethics told Krishnamoorthi in a letter made public Monday.

But on Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders countered the letter, saying that attorneys were "not probing whether Jared Kushner violated the law."

Krishnamoorthi said he was "baffled" at Sanders's comment in a statement Wednesday afternoon. He demanded that White House Counsel Don McGahn clarify whether she "was speaking truthfully and accurately," if the probe is underway, whether the investigation has already been completed, and if McGahn's office "knowingly or unknowingly misled the Office of Government Ethics."

"If a review of Mr. Kushner's ethics issues was completed by the White House Counsel, it must be released, and if it hasn't been, those in the White House who have provided inaccurate information regarding the investigation must answer for it," Krishnamoorthi said in his statement.

Here's my statement in reaction to the White House's assertion that the White House counsel's office is not investigating whether Senior Advisor Jared Kushner violated the law

— Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi (@CongressmanRaja) March 28, 2018

Kushner's lawyer Abbe Lowell in an email to Newsweek said the White House counsel concluded there were "no issues involving Jared," and that the loans transactions "had nothing to do with any of his meetings in the White House."

Kushner Cos. spokeswoman Chris Taylor told Newsweek in an email Wednesday, "I believe the White House answered this question at its presser yesterday and said they weren't investigating."

Krishnamoorthi, in a joint letter with oversight committee ranking member Elijah Cummings sent to McGahn on Monday, requested that the White House counsel provide documents on the investigation on Kushner by April 10.

"The fact that they reported to the (Office of Government Ethics) that they started an investigation means that perhaps they want to root out ethical wrongdoing that Jared Kushner may have been engaged in," Krishnamoorthi said on Wednesday. "If that doesn't trigger that kind of investigation, what would?"