New York City has launched an investigation into the real estate company formerly headed by President Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner, amid reports the company illegally falsified building permits. City officials are looking into an Associated Press report that Kushner Companies regularly claimed it had no rent-regulated tenants in its buildings, when it in fact had hundreds, in a move that allowed the company to skirt regulations. The AP reports the false documents were filed while Jared Kushner was running the company—and before he joined the Trump White House. New York City Councilmember Ritchie Torres says he’ll make a criminal referral if the city uncovers evidence that Jared Kushner committed a crime. If convicted on a local charge, Kushner would not be eligible for a presidential pardon. The probe came as a New York tenants’ rights group filed suit against Kushner Companies, alleging it neglected properties and used round-the-clock construction to force tenants out of rent-stabilized homes. This is Aaron Carr of the group Housing Rights Initiative, speaking Monday.
Aaron Carr: “It is abundantly clear that Kushner Companies made the lives of its tenants a living hell, from tactics that include around-the-clock construction, rodent infestation, potential asbestos exposure, black mold, collapsed buildings—and, yes, even collapsed buildings. Construction harassment is literally a form of physical and psychological torture. It is designed to make the living situation of a tenant unbearable, to the point where they are willing to give up the most valuable thing a tenant can have in New York City in the midst of an affordable housing crisis—affordability.”