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Jared Kushner, Deutsche Bank Business Dealings May Be Investigated By Special Counsel

A real estate transaction between Kushner Cos., led by White House adviser Jared Kushner, and Deutsche Bank may come under review by special counsel Robert Mueller and his team of lawyers.

Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump
Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump

Kushner Cos., from which Jared Kushner stepped down as CEO in January to assume his role at the White House, secured a loan for $285M from Deutsche Bank to help finance the retail unit of 229 West 43rd St., also known as the New York Times Building, in Midtown New York City.

The deal closed in October, a month prior to the election of President Donald Trump, the Washington Post reports. At that time, Kushner was juggling roles on his father-in-law’s campaign while still overseeing his family’s real estate empire. 

Around that same time, Deutsche Bank was combating charges of federal mortgage fraud in a case against New York regulators who alleged the German bank tried to aide a Russian money-laundering ploy. The lender has also come under scrutiny for its dealings with the first family, particularly since the bank is Trump’s largest lender — the Trump family had accrued roughly $364M in debt to the bank as of 2016. 

Kushner and his brother Joshua were named guarantors of the loan Deutsche issued to Kushner Cos. for its Midtown property, which means the two will be held responsible for the debt owed in the event of fraudulent activity or misconduct, whether the loan is in default or not. This is often referred to as a bad boy clause, the Post reports, and it was not disclosed in the Securities and Exchange Commission filing. 

Last month it was revealed that Kushner would come under scrutiny by the federal government for undisclosed meetings and chats with Russian contacts. The 36-year-old real estate mogul’s diplomatic controversies are mounting. In addition to his lack of business divestment, Kushner’s list of undisclosed business partners has caused conflict of interest concerns.

An attorney representing the former Kushner Cos. CEO said he is cooperating with Congress regarding the investigation into these meetings.

One of his contacts was the chairman of Russia’s state-run bank VEB, which initiated and financed a deal for the financially troubled Trump International Hotel and Tower project in Toronto in 2010. Kushner met with VEB Chairman Sergey Gorkov in December, a month after the Toronto project went into receivership. In addition to this, the Washington Post reported Kushner was in talks with the ambassador of Russia to possibly set up a secure line of communication between the Trump transition team and the Kremlin. This was proposed during a meeting at Trump Tower attended by former national security adviser Michael Flynn, according to U.S. officials, which contributed to Flynn's resignation after less than a month of service.