Josh Marshall has more on the Kushner family cash-in and their pitch to Chinese investors, including photo evidence that investors are being promised access to Trump.
Youâ€™ve probably heard that the Kushner family was caught over the weekend literally selling visas to immigrate to the United States in exchange for funding a $150 million dollar New Jersey real estate project. The sale itself is actually legal. Itâ€™s part of a highly controversial and widely abused program which provides visas to foreign nationals in exchange for $500,000 investments in US projects which by certain standards are judged to create jobs in impoverished or economically distressed parts of the United States. Itâ€™s become a widely abused vehicle for real estate developers looking to fund luxury development projects.
Whether Jersey City is “economically distressed” depends on who you are. There are a lot of luxury high-rise apartments there already. If you are looking for something cheaper, however, I found a 500 sq. foot third-floor walkup for a mere $1680 a month.
In other words, if you want to do something for Jersey City’s economically distressed residents, building another luxury high-rise ain’t it. That’s the biggest problem with living in the New York City area, actually. Middle- and lower-income people are squeezed to death because The Rent Is Too Damn High. Builders want to build luxury places to wealthy people, because they get more rent per square foot, and that’s all that gets built. Housing for everybody else can get downright squalid, if not nonexistent. The waiting lists for subsidized and low-cost housing are years long.
Trump â€“ as well as the Kushner familyâ€™s connection to him â€“ wasÂ explicitly invoked as the â€œkey decision makerâ€ in getting the visas. A TimesÂ reporter posted this picture of Â the presentation to Twitter, which Iâ€™ve marked up to identify the people Â in the slide â€¦
You have to go to Talking Points Memo to see the photo, but it’s pretty damning.
This is needless to say, the most open and flagrant kind of monetizing of the Presidency â€“ as bad as anyone could have imagined fromÂ the conjoined Trump/Kushner families. The fact that this â€˜nationalistâ€™, â€˜crack down on illegal immigrationâ€™ White House is connected to cash for visas activities like this just adds a layer of oily crust to the corruption.
And that’s the stuff we know about. Reporters just happened to get wind of the Chinese presentation and showed up to cover it. How much are we not hearing about?
Let us not forget that Jared Kushner’s father served time in federal prison for illegal campaign contributions, tax evasion, and witness tampering. That doesn’t mean Kushner necessarily is dishonest himself, but it says something about Kushner family values.