Ivanka Trump has long been the apple of Donald Trump’s eye, but the sins of the father are weighing heavily on her political future that included presidential aspirations.
The former first daughter has landed in Miami with her husband Jared Kushner since her father was unceremoniously ousted from the White House.
But she has since scuttled reports she was about to launch her political career by challenging Republican Sen. Marco Rubio in next year’s primary, according to London’s Daily Mail newspaper.
She backed off a challenge, reportedly for the good of the fractured Republican Party, but Ivanka is also facing legal scrutiny stemming from her father’s stint in the White House.
Last month, Ivanka was forced to answer questions during a five-hour deposition with the attorney general’s office in Washington, D.C.
Ivanka confirmed on Twitter that the grilling involved possible misuse of donations by President Trump’s Inaugural Committee, specifically on an overpriced ballroom at the president’s D.C. hotel.
“This ‘inquiry’ is another politically motivated demonstration of vindictiveness & waste of taxpayer dollars,” she wrote, adopting the combative style of her father.
The AG’s office sued Trump’s inaugural committee in January a year ago charging that the committee knowingly overpaid for space in the Trump International Hotel in early 2017 as part of an effort to enrich the Trump family.
— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) December 3, 2020
The committee was charged $175,000, a figure Ivanka called “a fair market rate,” in an email tying her to the alleged fraud.
A leading contractor for the committee suggested the rental rate should have be half that amount. Another group hosting a prayer breakfast earlier that day was charged just $5,000 for the same venue.
Husband Kushner has also raised eyebrows with his frequent trips to the Middle East and his reliance on loans and financing from countries there to prop up his real estate empire.
Kushner, who is Jewish, accompanied Trump to the Middle East in 2017 shortly after his family real estate company received a roughly $30 million investment from Menora Mivtachim, an insurer that is one of Israel’s largest financial institutions. The deal was not made public.
“I think it’s reasonable for people to ask whether his business interests are somehow affecting his judgment,” Matthew T. Sanderson, a lawyer at Caplin & Drysdale in Washington, told The Washington Post.
Caplin specializes in government ethics and was general counsel to Republican Sen. Rand Paul’s presidential campaign.
The Kushner family reportedly recruited at least one member of Israel’s wealthy Steinmetz family to invest nearly $200 million in Manhattan apartment buildings and a luxury New Jersey project, The New York Times reported.
Kushner’s company is also on the hook for four loans from Israel’s largest bank, Bank Hapoalim. The Justice Department is investigating allegations the bank helped wealthy Americans evade taxes.
The family’s best-known member, Beny Steinmetz, is the subject of a U. S. Justice Department bribery investigation. Steinmetz has denied any wrongdoing, and lawyers for Kushner and his family say their dealings are above board.
Kushner’s foreign financial entanglements also extend to his company’s signature property 666 Fifth Avenue, a soaring office tower in New York City.
The Kushner Companies paid a record $1.8 billion for the property and quickly ran into financial difficulties.
While Trump was in the middle of his 2016 presidential campaign, the Kushners were pitching Qatari investors to help bail out the building.
After the Qataris rebuffed investing, Jared Kushner, by then a senior adviser to President Trump, reportedly played a role supporting a blockade of Qatar by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, according to published reports.
“Some top Qatari government officials believe the White House’s initial support of the blockade may have been retaliation driven by Kushner who over the failed deal, NBC News reported.
Kushner never disclosed his meeting with Saudi Arabia and the UAE on the blockade to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
Tillerson and Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis were both surprised by the blockade, according to Tillerson’s testimony before Congress.
In April, 2018, the Trump administration dropped its support for the blockade. A month later, a financial company tied to Qatar brokered a deal to rescue the Kushner Companies’ Fifth Avenue property.
Brookfield Asset Management agreed to pay $1.1 billion for a 99-year lease on the property and paid the entire amount up front. The Qatar Investment Authority is the second-largest investor in Brookfield, according to The New York Times.
The Kushner’s firm also negotiated a $184 million loan from Apollo Global Management. The Qatar Investment Authority is one of Apollo’s largest investors. The money was used to renovate a Chicago building.
The Kushners also had financial negotiations with Chinese conglomerate Anbang Insurance Group, which has close ties to the Chinese government. But no deal was ever reached.
In a shocking report in Feb. 2018, The Washington Post reported that officials in at least four countries privately discussed ways they could manipulate Jared Kushner “by taking advantage of his complex business arrangements, financial difficulties, and lack of foreign policy experience.”
A shadowy off-shore real estate company part-owned by Jared Kushner also received $90 million in foreign funding after he became a senior adviser to his father-in-law.
The company, known as Cadre, brokered the deal while while Kushner worked as a U.S. international envoy. The money was run through a Cayman Islands entity owned by Goldman Sachs, according to the UK’s Guardian newspaper. The source of the funds is unknown.
Cadre was founded in 2014 by Kushner, his brother Joshua and their friend Ryan Williams, who previously worked for Goldman Sachs.
The company announced plans in 2019 to raise a multimillion-dollar fund to invest in real estate developments in the Trump administration’s “opportunity zones” program.
The program, which offers valuable tax breaks to developers and investors, was championed by Ivanka Trump, according to her father.
Kushner resigned as chief executive of Kushner Companies when he joined the White House. Kushner insists he has played no role in negotiations over the Fifth Avenue tower.
Kushner also resigned from Cadre’s board and cut his ownership stake to less than 25% after he joined the White House. But his interest is still said to be worth $50 million.
Meanwhile, Ivanka’s alleged self-dealing had come to the attention of New York’s Attorney General Letitia James and the Manhattan District Attorney, which are conducting civil and criminal probes, respectively.
The New York Times, which obtained two decades’ of Trump’s tax filings, reported that Trump had declared a $26 million deduction for consulting fees over several years to reduce his company’s tax bill.
Ivanka reportedly received $747,622 in fees as a consultant at the same she was also a Trump Organization executive, the newspaper report said.
This is harassment pure and simple. This ‘inquiry’ by NYC democrats is 100% motivated by politics, publicity and rage. They know very well that there’s nothing here and that there was no tax benefit whatsoever. These politicians are simply ruthless.https://t.co/4dQoDzQlRX
— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) November 20, 2020
The extent of legal liability, if any, is not known.
In 2012, Ivanka and Donald Trump Jr., faced criminal liability for allegedly misleading prospective buyers of units in the slow-selling Trump SoHo hotel.
The evidence included emails from the Trumps making clear that they were aware they were using inflated figures about how well the condos were selling to lure buyers, according to ProPublica.
Prosecutors recommended criminal indictments, but Attorney General Cyrus Vance Jr. ultimately overruled them after meetings with Trump attorney Marc Kasowitz, who ultimately donated $50,000 to Vance’s campaign fund.
“I did not at the time believe beyond a reasonable doubt that a crime had been committed,” Vance told ProPublica. “I had to make a call and I made the call, and I think I made the right call.”
The Trump SoHo went into foreclosure in 2014 and was taken over by a lender. About one-third of the units had been sold by then. Trump’s name has been removed from the property.
If Ivanka were to run for political office, she would almost certainly be forced to answer questions about her and her husband’s financial dealings.
Her father’s legal entanglements and his role in the Jan 6 Capitol insurrection would also be a factor.
Rubio is facing re-election in 2022 and a challenge from the former president’s daughter could have torn apart the party.
Now it seems, it won’t happen. Ivanka reportedly reached out to Rubio to tell him she won’t challenge him, a source close to her and his office separately told DailyMail.com.
In fact, her political career–her father boasted she would be the first female president–appears to have died aborning.
Ivanka may be better off raising her three children while her husband sorts out their complex financial holdings.