Dhaka, Bangladesh
Kushners unveiled

Kushners unveiled

Ivanka converted to Judaism after her marriage with Jared Kushner, a practising Jew. The Kushner name won ‘notoriety’ way back in the summer of 2004. Two scandals hit the headlines, writes Anjum Niaz

What do Nawaz Sharif and Donald Trump have in common? Their family members. While Sharif’s sons and daughter are under investigation by the Supreme Court-appointed Joint Investigation Team for their offshore accounts revealed by the Panama leaks, Trump’s son-in-law is a “person of interest” by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The FBI is looking into alleged financial crimes and collusion with Russia by Kushner & co. The focus is on a series of meetings held by Jared Kushner, as part of FBI’s probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. After Trump got elected, Kushner met with the Russian ambassador and a banker from Moscow in December. Jared Kushner, married to Ivanka, daughter of Donald Trump, is perhaps the most powerful man in the White House today. The couple has top security clearance as Trump’s special advisers with offices in the West Wing of the White House. Despite the presence of an anti-nepotism law that prohibits government officials, especially the president, from appointing or employing family members, Trump’s lawyers assert that the president has the discretion to choose a staff of his liking: “Princess” Ivanka and “Prince” Jared. Ivanka converted to Judaism after her marriage with Jared Kushner, a practising Jew. The Kushner name won ‘notoriety’ way back in the summer of 2004. Two scandals hit the headlines: Governor of New Jersey James McGreevey resigned while admitting to an extra-marital affair with an Israeli named Golan Cipel. His contributor-in-chief, Charles Kushner — the man who sponsored Golan Cipel — was charged with trying to silence two witnesses for cooperating with a federal probe into Kushner’s finances, one of them being his own brother-in-law, married to his sister Esther. The wealthy real estate developer, whose name is koshered in stone in New Jersey’s Jewish religious, educational and charitable edifices, despite being sheltered by Governor McGreevy — who got $1.5 million as campaign donations from him — had his dirty linen washed in public. The story went like this: The December before, a woman approached William Schulder as he left a diner saying her car had broken down. She asked for a ride to a nearby motel, and invited him in for a drink. He declined but returned the following day, and the two allegedly had sex, which was videotaped by Kushner’s men in the next room. A second prostitute allegedly tried to seduce Yontef, the accountant, but he didn’t fall for the trap. Months later, Charles Kushner, then 50, mailed the video tape and still photos of the act to his sister Esther, as the Schulders were preparing to host an engagement party for their son. Esther received the tape and contacted the FBI. That a prominent member of the Orthodox Jewish community stooped to such sleaze resembles an X-rated family drama- dripping with dirt, extortion and shakedown — is conduct unbecoming of a man of Charles Kushner’s stature. To honour his parents, survivors of the Holocaust, the billionaire founded the Joseph Kushner Hebrew Academy on a hill with the American and Israeli flags flying high. Soon he confessed in court to paying $25,000 to a New York call girl who seduced his sister Esther’s husband. Kushner was sentenced to a two-year jail term. Before going to jail, Charles Kushner apologised to his sister for hiring a prostitute to seduce her husband, and then sending her a videotape of her husband’s sexual encounter. “What I did as an act of revenge was wrong in every way,” Kushner wrote in a five-page letter to his sister. “I only ask that you forgive me for resorting to such despicable behaviour, which is disgraceful. I was wrong and I committed a terrible sin. How did I let hatred invade my heart and guide my actions? No one is a winner in this pathetic saga.” History may well repeat itself, if Jared Kushner, like his father, is found guilty of committing a financial crime.

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