Jared Kushner's family apologises for name drop in pitch
And the pitch came with a sweetener: Meyer talked about the Kushner family, including her brother who holds a powerful position in the White House as senior adviser to President Trump. The company, which included mention of Mr. Kushner and a large photo of his father-in-law at the event, has apologized for any impression of influence trading that might have been created by its presentation.
The company did not respond to a question about the EB-5 program, which grants visas to foreigners who invest at least $500,000 in development projects and is expected to fund a 15% chunk of the Jersey City project. "In addition to numerous cases of securities fraud, the program is frequently exploited by real estate developers to finance projects in the wealthiest parts of this country".
Kushner, who is married to the president's daughter, Ivanka Trump, reportedly has played a key role in smoothing U.S. President Trump signed a spending bill extending the program last week. With the clock ticking until the program's new expiration date, September 30, the president has a chance to get behind efforts to end the hopelessly inefficient and corruption-prone EB-5 program before it causes more embarrassment. The yield has been 77,150 full-time jobs and approximately $4.2 billion in investment - trivial in relation to the giant USA economy.
Feinstein said in a statement reports by The New York Times, The Washington Post and others make "crystal clear that the EB-5 regional center program presents a stark conflict of interest for the Trump White House". "This is a far cry from the program's original intent to spur economic development in depressed communities".
Kushner's personal attorney, Blake Roberts of the WilmerHale law firm, said in a statement that Kushner has "no involvement" in the operation of the Kushner Companies.
Meyer said the project "means a lot to me and my entire family", mentioning specifically that her brother formerly headed the family business and left to serve in the Trump Administration.
Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley, R-Iowa, a proponent of EB-5 changes and co-sponsor of Feinstein's bill, says he expects the White House to stand by the proposed Obama regulations and does not believe Kushner's family ties would endanger their implementation.
- New Jersey
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