(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
The Trump administration is keeping the public in the dark when it comes to efforts to complete a controversial nuclear deal, even as financial backers of Kushner Companies stand to benefit. A House Oversight and Reform Committee interim staff report describes concerns about White House efforts—which may be ongoing—to rush the transfer of nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia despite internal legal and ethics concerns.
The Department of Energy is illegally withholding documents that we’ve requested:
- Records concerning Secretary Perry’s overseas meetings with Saudi nuclear officials
- Records relating to nuclear cooperation agreements between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia
- Communications between DOE officials and key energy companies, including Westinghouse Electric—a subsidiary of Brookfield Asset Management, which paid $1.3 billion for a lease that bailed out a troubled Kushner Companies investment property at 666 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.
On the heels of Jared Kushner’s face-to-face meeting with Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, we’re taking DOE to court to uncover those records. In February 2019, President Trump held a White House meeting with nuclear developers to discuss expansion into the Middle East region, including Saudi Arabia. In December 2017, Energy Secretary Rick Perry travelled to Saudi Arabia to discuss a technology partnership and then discussed the potential energy transfer with Saudi officials in London in March 2018, Perry returned to Saudi Arabia in December 2018, where he and the Saudi Minister of Energy continued to discuss a potential agreement to allow the transfer of nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia.
As we await the government’s response, the House Oversight and Reform Committee is seeking additional information to help determine whether the actions pursued by the administration are “in the national security interest of the United States or, rather, serve those who stand to gain financially as a result of this potential change in U.S. foreign policy.”
We expect a response from the government in April 2019.