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Thursday, April 27, 2017

Not Camelot

I'm glad to see people noticing that Ivanka Trump is not a "moderating influence" in the White House (she shouldn't even *be* there), and that her husband, Jared Kushner, is probably more dunce than genius (he shouldn't be in the WH either).

Following John Oliver's takedown on Sunday, Sarah Kendzior tells us that the whole Trump/Kushner clan are nothing but kleptocrats (we NYers have known that for years):

That there has not been greater inquiry into her financial dealings and foreign ties speaks to a normalization of abuse of executive power, possibly because trading policy for handbags seems less threatening than Trump’s many other misdeeds. But the Trump family businesses should be scrutinized all the same. Trump did not drain the swamp; he merely made it into a moat that protects his family.
At the center of this protective measure is Jared, who when not doing his alleged job of Absolutely Everything, serves as a chess piece in the Trump administration’s media games, a pawn ready to be turned king. 

Kushner's been at this a while; outside of his in-laws, he's got quite the record himself, including another shady deal uncovered by the NY Times yesterday:

It was the summer of 2012, and Jared Kushner was headed downtown.
His family’s real estate firm, the Kushner Companies, would spend about $190 million over the next few months on dozens of apartment buildings in tony Lower Manhattan neighborhoods including the East Village, the West Village and SoHo.
For much of the roughly $50 million in down payments, Mr. Kushner turned to an undisclosed overseas partner. Public records and shell companies shield the investor’s identity. But, it turns out, the money came from a member of Israel’s Steinmetz family, which built a fortune as one of the world’s leading diamond traders.
A Kushner Companies spokeswoman and several Steinmetz representatives say Raz Steinmetz, 53, was behind the deals. His uncle, and the family’s most prominent figure, is the billionaire Beny Steinmetz, who is under scrutiny by law enforcement authorities in four countries. In the United States, federal prosecutors are investigating whether representatives of his firm bribed government officials in Guinea to secure a multibillion dollar mining concession. In Israel, Mr. Steinmetz was detained in December and questioned in a bribery and money laundering investigation. In Switzerland and Guinea, prosecutors have conducted similar inquiries.
The Steinmetz partnership with Mr. Kushner underscores the mystery behind his family’s multibillion-dollar business and its potential for conflicts with his role as perhaps the second-most powerful man in the White House, behind only his father-in-law, President Trump.

Are there ever going to be any consequences to any of this?

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