Jared Kushner just edited his security clearance forms in desperate attempt to save his skin

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More than a year after he was named a senior adviser at the White House, President Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner is still filing additional information that he previously omitted from his required government financial disclosure forms.

The most notable information is that Kushner apparently has taken out millions more in loans, which may be a sign his real estate business with his family is in trouble.

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Bloomberg News reported recently that the IRS and the Department of Justice have served subpoenas on the Kushner companies in last year and are investigating tax matters. 

That is separate from the investigations by Special Counsel Robert Mueller into Kushner’s role in the Russian interference with the 2016 election (and actions since) and an investigation by the Brooklyn office of the U.S. Attorney which is looking into violations related to the use of the foreign visa program.

The prosecutors in Brooklyn have also requested documents about the Kushners business form Deutsche Bank AG related to a retail property the family bought in 2015 for $296 million. Within a year the property, formerly the headquarters of the New York Times, was appraised at $445 million, and the Kushners took out $370 million in loans against it. The bank then sold most of the debt to Wall Street investors.

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This filing made last month which has just come to light appears to be an effort to square his list of assets with his wife, Ivanka,  who is also an adviser to her father.

The Kushners are already the subject of a lawsuit filed in December that charges they illegally omitted information about at least 32 other companies in which they have an interest, raising questions about possible conflicts of interest.

The latest filing provides a long list of additional investments, corporate positions and other information required by the government ethics office. In some cases, the items were disclosed but have changed in the past year and now have new names or different financial arrangements for Kushner.

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Even with the updates, it seems likely there is still more to come in order to meet all requirements under the ethics law.

Kushner has not been able to qualify for a full, permanent security clearance since he joined the White House, apparently in part because of all the investigations and ongoing controversies about his filings.

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The group American Bridge, reports TPM, searched public records and found holdings which Kushner has failed to report on his government forms.

“This is really out of the ordinary,” Dan Fox, former acting director and general counsel of the Office of Government Ethics under Presidents GW Bush and Obama told Talking Points Memo, which broke the story about the latest Kushner ethics filing. 

“It’s really uncommon you’d still be trying to get the form correct at this stage in the game,” added Fox, “and there’s have been as many amendments over such a protracted period of time that we have.”

Kushner’s spokespeople say that he has done updates to be as complete as possible and deny he or his family business is under investigation, but his frequent changes, additions and new information is unusual at the least.

“It’s just sloppy,” said Fox, “and he doesn’t take a great deal of interest at all in getting this public financial disclosure form correct. If he did he would have accomplished it by now.”

Kushner, despite his lack of government or diplomatic experience, has been given a huge number of important areas to deal with by his father-in-law, but so far his record of accomplishments is as sketchy as his ethics filings.

For instance, he was told to solve the problems in the middle east and instead has failed to make any progress. After Trump said the U.S. Embassy would move to Jereslum, the Palestinians are no longer even willing to negotiate with Israel through Trump or Kushner.

Trump brags about all he has accomplished as president, but a look at what Kushner and his wife have done is a reminder of how little has actually been accomplished, and how many mistakes have been made. 

 

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Benjamin Locke

Benjamin Locke is a retired college professor with an undergraduate degree in Industrial Labor and Relations from Cornell University and an MBA from the European School of Management.

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