House GOP Flips, Targets Trump’s Family

Michael Vadon, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

On Thursday, Chairman of the House Oversight Committee, James Comer (R-Ky.), commented that Jared Kushner, previously senior adviser to former President Trump, appeared to breach ethical boundaries by receiving a $2 billion investment from Saudi Arabia’s government in his private investment venture. This came half a year following his departure from White House duties.

In a discussion with Jake Tapper on CNN’s “The Lead,” Comer recognized points raised by 2024 GOP presidential contender Chris Christie. Christie had earlier stated on the record about the Trump family’s alleged questionable business activities, particularly in the Middle East during Trump’s administration.

However, Comer made it a point to differentiate between the business activities of the Trump and Biden families, hinting that he believed the latter’s to be more concerning.

On the CNN segment, responding to Christie’s comments, Comer stated, “My stance has always been clear – I believe Kushner’s actions were ethically questionable. Christie’s observations, while valid, concern activities post Kushner’s White House term. That said, Kushner has legitimate businesses. In contrast, concerns around the Bidens are from when Joe Biden was serving as the vice president and traveling internationally.”

Comer, who heads the Oversight Committee’s investigation into the Biden family, has collected testimonies suggesting Hunter Biden, the current president’s son, potentially used his father’s vice presidency to gain business advantages. Yet, no conclusive evidence has been found implicating President Biden in any illegal activities.

Kushner, during his time as senior adviser, represented the Trump administration in meetings with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. He also notably defended the Saudi government when the U.S. deduced the crown prince had sanctioned the assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi due to his critiques of Saudi Arabia.

In 2022, the House Oversight Committee, then led by Democrats, initiated an investigation into Kushner’s $2 billion investment from the Saudi Private Investment Fund (PIF), under the crown prince’s control.

Former Oversight Chairman Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) addressed Kushner in a letter, highlighting the potential conflict of interest arising from his close ties with Crown Prince bin Salman and his significant investment received shortly after his White House exit.

During his conversation with Tapper, Comer defended his committee’s probe into the Bidens, underscoring the overarching objective to reform how politics operates in the capital. The intent, he said, is to prevent individuals from exploiting their family connections in positions of power.

Comer expressed, “Our primary aim has always been to institute legislative reforms. There’s a notion, especially in certain media circles, that influence trading is a routine affair in D.C. This must change.”