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GOP Senator Wants Investigation Of Kushner Family China Deal

30/05/2017 12:47 AM AEST | Updated 30/05/2017 12:47 AM AEST

WASHINGTON ― Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), the chairman of the powerful Senate Judiciary Committee, has asked federal immigration and investment regulators to review the conduct of a Chinese company partnered with the family business of White House adviser Jared Kushner. 

“Recent press reports indicate that Qiaowai has touted its relationship with the current administration as a guarantee that potential EB-5 [investor visa] investors will receive lawful permanent residence in return for a no-risk investment in One Journal Square,” a New Jersey luxury development being built by the Kushner family, Grassley wrote in a May 24 letter to Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly and Security and Exchange Commission Chairman Jay Clayton. 

He cited investigations by Reuters and The New York Times that revealed multiple instances of the firm guaranteeing a U.S. green card to Chinese investors in return for investment in the Kushner project. “They said the president would make sure it came through,” a technology executive told the Times. “They said there was no chance it could fail.”

Kushner stepped down from Kushner Companies earlier this year. But Qiaowai appeared to spend months celebrating its apparent link to the White House and President Donald Trump; a recent presentation featuring Kushner’s sister mentioned the connection, according to The Washington Post. And while Kushner is managing China relations as part of his broad portfolio in the administration, he stands to eventually profit from the New Jersey development, for which his family hopes to raise $150 million in Chinese money, and other family enterprises because of his investments in them.

Ethics experts have repeatedly warned that Trump and other members of his administration have flouted long-standing norms intended to avoid conflicts of interest. 

A longtime critic of the EB-5 program, which gives investors an opportunity to receive a green card if they pour $500,000 into the U.S., Grassley is seeking Trump administration answers to a range of questions about the Qiaowai approach.

In his letter, the senator asked for responses by June 7 to inquiries about how the Chinese firm and a U.S.-based contractor called the U.S. Immigration Fund have previously been regulated and whether their actions can be legally punished.

“It appears the information regarding green card and no-risk guarantees violates our immigration laws,” Grassley wrote.

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