Trump Pardons Charles Kushner
Kushner Cos. founder Charles Kushner was pardoned by President Donald Trump in a slew of last-ditch presidential pardons announced by the White House Wednesday evening.
Kushner, a well-known developer whose son Jared is Trump's son-in-law and a senior adviser at the White House, spent two years in prison after pleading guilty in 2004 to 18 counts of violating election, tax and witness tampering laws.
“This record of reform and charity overshadows Mr. Kushner’s conviction and two-year sentence for preparing false tax returns, witness retaliation, and making false statements to the FEC,” the White House said in a statement released Wednesday.
A spokesperson for Kushner Cos. did not immediately respond to Bisnow's request for comment.
Democrats in Congress are investigating a Kushner Cos. deal to lease its 666 Fifth Ave. skyscraper to Brookfield. The legislators are looking into whether the $1.3B deal, which bailed the company out of a heavy debt load, was a quid pro quo in exchange for favorable foreign policy for Qatar.
The firm is set to break ground on its first projects in Miami next year, one of which is in an opportunity zone near the waterfront. Overall, the company plans to focus on purchasing and developing apartments — how Charles Kushner built the family business — even as it has been hit with complaints in recent years.
Last month, a judge granted class-action status to tenants suing the firm, claiming that it illegally deregulated a building in Brooklyn. Kushner Cos. was also investigated in Maryland for allegedly keeping apartments in poor conditions while harassing tenants, including having some arrested for unpaid debts.
Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort was also granted a pardon Wednesday. Manafort had served two years of a seven-and-a-half-year sentence but had been transferred to home confinement in May due to coronavirus precautions, the Washington Post reports.
While Manafort pleaded guilty as a result of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian election interference, he admitted to financial crimes surrounding the use of real estate to obscure foreign sources of income.
Ethan Rothstein and Miriam Hall contributed to this article.