March 09, 2018

Warren, Cummings, Carper, and Peters Press Citigroup and Apollo on Loans to Kushner Business

Kushner Companies Received More Than Half a Billion Dollars after Company Officials Met with Kushner at White House

Text of letter to Citigroup (PDF)

Text of letter to Apollo Global Management (PDF)

Washington, DC - Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), and Representative Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, sent letters to Citigroup and Apollo Global Management seeking information on reports that the companies provided more than $500 million in loans to Kushner Companies, the family business of Senior Advisor to the President Jared Kushner, after meeting with Mr. Kushner in the White House.

In January 2017, Mr. Kushner announced that he was stepping down as CEO of Kushner Companies to work as a Senior Advisor to President Trump. However, Mr. Kushner appears to have maintained financial holdings in Kushner Companies over the course of his first year serving in the White House. Reports of Mr. Kushner's interactions with Apollo and Citigroup have raised new questions about Mr. Kushner's conflicts of interest.

"Federal ethics laws prohibit federal employees from profiting from their government service, and Mr. Kushner's refusal to fully divest from his financial holdings raises questions about his behavior as a Senior Adviser to President Trump," wrote the Members. "It would be a serious matter if the loans provided to Kushner Companies by Apollo (and Citigroup) resulted in a violation of federal ethics laws."

According to the New York Times, Apollo's founder, Joshua Harris, began "paying regular visits to the White House" in early 2017-including multiple meetings over the course of the year with Mr. Kushner, and including discussions "of a possible White House job for Mr. Harris." In November 2017, Apollo lent $184 million to Kushner Companies to "refinance the mortgage on a Chicago skyscraper." The loan was "triple the size of the average property loan made by Apollo's real estate lending arm" and was "one of the largest loans Kushner Companies received last year."

Mr. Kushner also met with Citigroup's CEO Michael L. Corbatand, and shortly thereafter Citigroup provided Kushner Companies "and one of its partners $325 million to help finance a group of office buildings in Brooklyn."

The Members of Congress asked Citigroup and Apollo to provide a list of all loans made to Kushner Companies, all meetings held in person or by phone between them and Kushner Companies, and all documents and communications related to any loans made by Citigroup to Kushner Companies or any entity affiliated with or partnered with Kushner Companies - by March 20, 2018.

Earlier this week, the Members of Congress sent letters to the White House and to Kushner Companies seeking information on these loans and Mr. Kushner's involvement.