Federal judge rules Kushner firm must reveal business partners

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A U.S. district judge on Friday ruled that the Kushner family real estate company must reveal the identity of its business partners at multiple Maryland properties by Feb. 9.

U.S. District Court Judge James K. Bredar ruled that Kushner Cos., which is run by the family of President TrumpJared KushnerJared Corey KushnerStakes intensify: Mueller seeks to question Trump Dems want answers on White House security clearance process Deutsche Bank says it didn’t flag Kushner accounts as ‘suspicious’ MORE , did not create the “compelling government interest” needed by law to block the public’s access to judicial records and documents that reveal the company’s business partners.Donald John TrumpTrump: If there’s no wall, there’s no DACA fix Trump appears to call out Samsung over missing FBI text messages Trump Commerce pick told lawmakers he would look at reversing Obama move on internet oversight: report MORE ‘s son-in-law

Kushner stepped down as the company’s CEO and sold many of his shares in the business last year in order to work as a senior adviser to the president.

Bredar sided with The Associated Press, ProPublica, The Washington Post, The Baltimore Sun and Baltimore TV station WMAR-TV, which had filed a motion in federal court last year to obtain the identities of the company’s investors.

“Increased public interest in a case does not, by itself, overcome the presumption of access,” Bredar wrote, according to CBS News.

“In fact, it would logically strengthen it, particularly when the interest is due to the presence of important public figures in the litigation.”

The ruling could shine a light on how the company has conducted business in the past.

The news organizations were already looking into Westminster Management, which is a subsidiary of Kushner Cos., when they filed to suit to gain access to the company’s investors.

Reports surfaced last October that Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh was investigating an affiliate of the business after The New York Times and ProPublica reported earlier this year that there was “poor upkeep” inside its properties.

Tenants filed a lawsuit last year accusing Westminster Management of excessive and illegal rent for apartments in Maryland.

The Baltimore Sun reported last year that the company had taken part in aggressive debt collecting tactics, including civil arrests of tenants who owed money to the company.

The company has denied the charges.