After relentless Republican complaints about Hunter Biden’s international business work while his father was vice president, critics find it particularly rich that the Saudis invested a massive $2 billion in a Jared Kushner fund shortly after he left his senior adviser role in a Trump administration remarkably accommodating to the Saudis.
The money dwarfs any income Hunter Biden is known to have earned while on a Ukrainian energy company’s board while his father was Barack Obama’s vice president. And Hunter Biden couldn’t curry favor with any foreign entities with a powerful White House position like the one Kushner held, when Donald Trump’s son-in-law was supposed to be representing the American public and not his own interests.
“It’s just a complete free-for-all,” Walter Shaub, director of the U.S. Office of Government Ethics in the Obama and Trump administrations, told Bloomberg. “The real concern here is that the public has no way of knowing exactly what favors someone like Kushner may have done for the Saudis.”
Kushner, a neophyte investment fund manager who was a real estate developer in his family’s business before Trump elevated him and wife Ivanka Trump to senior White House roles, reaped the massive reward even though a supervisory panel of the Saudi Arabian sovereign fund had serious reservations about Kushner’s new private equity firm, The New York Times reported.
The panel was concerned about “inexperienced management” of the brand new fund and found several aspects of the business “unsatisfactory,” according to documents obtained by the Times.
But the panel’s reservations were overruled by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, a friend of Kushner’s and the recipient of significant Trump administration benefits.
This was the same man whom Trump — reportedly at Kushner’s prompting — staunchly defended after American intelligence said he was responsible for the horrific 2018 murder and dismemberment of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. Trump also approved a highly controversial multibillion-dollar arms deal to the country while the Saudis were dropping bombs on Yemeni civilians.
Attorney Daniel Goldman tweeted Monday: “I don’t want to hear another word about Hunter Biden. But I would like to hear about congressional investigations related to this investment” by the Saudis, he added.
Goldman was the lead counsel in the House impeachment inquiry against Trump after the then-president held up military aid to Ukraine while pressing President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to “do us a favor” and investigate Hunter Biden’s work in his country.
Economist Robert Reich, who was labor secretary in the Clinton administration, sniped: “After leaving the White House, Jared Kushner cashes in on being ‘foreign policy adviser’ to his father-in-law with a $2 billion investment from a fund led by the Saudi crown prince. Who wants to talk more about Hunter Biden’s lap top?”
There was plenty more.