The landlord of Ivanka Trump’s posh house in the Kalorama neighborhood of Washington, D.C., is suing the U.S. government.
Chilean billionaire Andrónico Luksic’s company bought the house in December, 2016, for $5.5 million and has since rented it out to Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, the daughter and son-in-law of President Donald Trump, even as Luksic is locked in a lawsuit with the U.S. government over a mine, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Kushner is a close adviser to the president.
During the final days of the Obama administration, officials prevented one of Luksic’s companies from building a mine near a wilderness region in Minnesota, due to environmental concerns.
A spokesman for the White House insisted to The Wall Street Journal that the couple is paying fair market value for the house and also added that neither Ivanka, nor Jared knew about the mining dispute before renting the house.
Luksic’s company sued the Obama administration in September after the Department of the Interior moved to deny renewal of mineral leases. The Obama administration succeeded with its denial in December, which blocked Twin Metals Minnesota from mining copper, nickel and other minerals from federally leased lands. Environmentalists applauded the decision.
Twin Metals Minnesota has since spent $160,000 lobbying Congress in 2016 and pushed the new Trump administration to reverse the Interior Department’s decision.
Democratic Rep. Rick Nolan painted the Obama administration’s decision as “anti-mining, anti-jobs.”
Nolan asked the Trump administration to stop efforts in January to put a 20-year moratorium on mining in the region.
Trump signaled that he wants to undo Obama administration policies that block job creation, particularly in mining, oil and natural gas. But to preempt any quick moves, the Department of Justice has asked the court for a 60-day delay so it can brief administration officials on the case.
Luksic’s business empire is estimated at approximately $13.1 billion.
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