Talk about family values.
Disclosures obtained by a watchdog group show that White House Senior Adviser and presidential son-in-law Jared Kushner raked in as much as $3 million from projects benefiting from Trump administration initiatives in 2019, plus up to $1 million more in rent money from firms which later received COVID-related small business loans from the government.
The documents, released by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, show that the Kushner windfall includes revenues from a Jersey Shore luxury development that benefited from a real estate tax break publicly pushed by First Daughter Ivanka Trump—Kushner’s wife—in 2017.
Kushner reported earning $100,001 to $1 million off an entity called Gellert 80 West End LLC, plus $100,001 to $1 million from Pier Village Hotel III JV, LLC, and $343,000 from PV Bungalow LLC and what appears to be its bar. These companies are pieces of Kushner Companies’ sprawling Pier Village project in Long Branch, New Jersey, which Bloomberg Businessweek profiled in 2018 for its receipt of fiscal relief through the Opportunity Zones program.
Ivanka Trump was a vocal proponent of this program during the negotiations over the controversial Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which has been the administration’s biggest achievement in office.
"Ivanka Trump advocated for the Opportunity Zones program while her husband was profiting from it, representing a clear conflict of interest,” CREW communications director Jordan Libowitz told The Daily Beast. “The program seems to have been made to be easily exploitable by the rich and well connected, starting with those related to the president.”
CREW pushed the Justice Department to probe the president’s daughter’s role in advancing an initiative that her husband and father stood to profit from. As with the commander-in-chief himself, the two have stepped back from their private business interests even as they continue profit from them—a source of constant criticism and controversy, as good government groups complain it makes them susceptible to corrupt influence.
The Opportunity Zones aren’t the only Trump program the power couple stand to benefit from. Kushner reported $100,001 to $1 million in “rent or royalties” from Vreeland Avenue Associates, which the disclosure shows to be a wholly controlled affiliate of Thirty Vreeland Associates. The latter owns an office complex in Florham Park, New Jersey, that houses the headquarters of his family real estate firm.
Six tenants of that building received low-interest loans ranging from $150,000 to $2 million this year via the Paycheck Protection Program, the administration and Congress’s bailout of businesses amid the COVID-19-induced economic collapse.
In these filings, at least, Kushner and Ivanka do not appear to have received any direct proceeds from the two Kushner Companies hotels that The Daily Beast discovered earlier this month received PPP assistance. Nor did they receive payment from his former publishing operation, Observer Holdings, which also obtained PPP money.
Observer Holdings, however, now belongs to Observer Capital—the firm of Kushner’s sister’s husband, Joseph Meyer. The disclosures show that a separate affiliate of Observer Capital did pay Kushner $100,001 to $1 million in capital gains.
Neither the White House nor Kushner Companies immediately responded to requests for comment.
CREW further spotlighted that the disclosures show Ivanka Trump earned in $3,921,585 from her stake in the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., which has become a hub of activity for lobbyists and foreign interests since the president took office.