WASHINGTON — As Republicans search for evidence that Joe Biden abused his office to enrich his family, Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) thinks maybe they should take a look at the Trumps.
In a letter to House Oversight Committee Chair James Comer (R-Ky.), Raskin suggested the committee subpoena Jared Kushner’s investment firm for records related to the “extraordinary funding it received from foreign governments” in recent years.
Kushner, the son-in-law of former President Donald Trump, created the firm in 2021 immediately after leaving his job as a White House foreign policy adviser focused on the Middle East. Within six months, the company received a $2 billion investment from a fund overseen by the crown prince of Saudi Arabia.
The deal “raises the significant possibility that there was a large quid pro quo shaping Mr. Kushner’s official actions in the White House, where he helped dramatically recast U.S. foreign policy toward Saudi Arabia,” Raskin wrote Thursday.
Comer has been delving into bank records and witness testimony to resurrect Trump’s claim that Biden, when he was vice president, pushed for the firing of a Ukrainian prosecutor in order to protect his son, who served on the board of a Ukrainian gas company.
State Department officials told lawmakers in 2019, when House Democrats were impeaching Trump for trying to make Ukraine’s president declare Biden corrupt, that firing the prosecutor was a priority for the entire U.S. government, not just the vice president.
But Hunter Biden’s role on the Burisma board created the appearance of a conflict of interest, officials said, and Comer has used his committee’s subpoena power to obtain bank records detailing some of the millions in payments the younger Biden received. This week, Comer highlighted Hunter Biden’s efforts to arrange business meetings while traveling with his father on Air Force Two. So far, however, none of Comer’s investigative work has implicated the president.
Raskin’s letter on Thursday is a not-so-subtle suggestion by the Maryland Democrat that his Republican colleagues have been selective in their outrage over political families enriching themselves through public service.
Just as Comer and others complain that Hunter Biden had no obvious expertise in the Ukrainian energy sector, a panel that screens potential investments for the Saudi sovereign wealth fund judged Kushner’s firm lacking experience and charging excessive fees. The board overseeing the fund — led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, whom Kushner defended after he directed the assassination of a journalist ― overruled the panel.
When Democrats still controlled the House last year, the Oversight Committee sought details from Kushner about his business deals, but Comer quietly discontinued that investigation.
Raskin asked Comer in February, in a letter that has not been previously made public, about launching a bipartisan inquiry into Kushner’s questionable business, but Comer declined to do so.
Comer himself had said he didn’t disagree with Democratic criticism of Kushner’s payout after serving in the Trump administration, though he’s stressed that Kushner at least waited until his family was out of government, while Hunter Biden raked in some of his fees during his father’s second term as vice president.
A spokesperson for Comer said Raskin’s letter was nothing but an attempt to distract from “mounting evidence” of Joe Biden’s involvement in his son’s business schemes.
“If Ranking Member Raskin was truly concerned about ethics in government, then he would join Republicans in our investigation of the Bidens’ blatant corruption,” the spokesperson said.