But why did they do so?
After all, there are other Trump loyalists, such as Steve Bannon and Mark Meadows, who have refused—apparently on the order of Trump—and risk being held in contempt of Congress.
Could it be there was a reason for Javanka’s compliance that the public is not aware of?
My sources say their cooperation with the committee likely has everything to do with wanting admission to the notoriously exclusive Indian Creek Country Club in Miami, Florida, where, as of now, Jared and Ivanka are not members, despite having bought a property on the exclusive Indian Creek Island.
An aerial view of Indian Creek Island, commonly known as "Billionaire Bunker." [Photo by Jeffrey Greenberg/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images]
Not helping their cause at Indian Creek, according to my source, is the D’Agostino family. On January 19, 2021—the day before Trump left office—the U.S. Treasury sanctioned three people they claimed were illicitly evading the U.S. sanctions on Venezuelan oil. The three individuals were Alessandro Bazzoni, an Italian friend of Kimberly Guilfoyle’s; Philipp Paul Vartan Apikian, a Swiss oil trader; and Francisco Javier D’Agostino Casado, a dual Spanish-Venezuelan citizen.
D'Agostino’s father, Franco, has a registered address at Indian Creek. I’m told he is a member of the club and is openly furious with Trump. He is among a handful of members openly lobbying to prevent the admission of Javanka to the club. (Franco D’Agostino did not return a phone call by the time of publishing.)
Remember, Indian Creek is a gated island that has only 41 homes. According to Town & Country, residents include the financier Carl Icahn, billionaire businessman Eddie Lampert, Colombian billionaire Jamie Galinski Baca, Hotels.com founder Robert Diener, former U.S. Airways CEO Rakesh Gangwal, and Mary Stephens Shula, the widow of former Miami Dolphins coach Don Shula. Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen are said to be relocating there. But don’t be conned into thinking there’s anything flashy about the place. It’s the opposite. I know because I was there for dinner recently. At the club. The dress code is jacket and tie for the men and chic but understated for women. In other words, it’s the opposite of the gilt-and-flash ornateness one has come to associate with the Trump brand.
The Kushners are reported to have paid $30 million dollars for the land there. They have been spotted regularly going for walks on the island. But they’re not members of the club. Yet.
Just because you live on the island, you are not automatically guaranteed admission, say my sources. According to my sources, the rule book says 75 percent of the board of directors must agree to a new member’s admission. There are even one or two people who live on the exclusive island who have been blackballed, according to multiple sources. (Remember this is a club that was once deemed so racist that former Florida governor Jeb Bush boycotted it.)
As of now, the Kushners are perceived to be struggling socially in Miami. “They're being shunned here—and nobody gets shunned in Miami,” a big Republican donor told me. “There's no society center in Miami. I mean, there [are] different enclaves; there’s your celebrity crowd, expats from Brazil or Venezuela or Columbia or the Coral Gables crowd. They wanted to get into Indian Creek, [but], as far as I know, they still haven't even been accepted in the country club.”
In other words, admission to the club is everything for them.
So, let’s back up.
Readers of Kushner, Inc. know that the guiding principles of the couple are transactionality and public relations. In my book, I reported that even their union was part of a three-point plan devised by the late PR guru Howard Rubenstein to rehabilitate the Kushner name following the disgrace when Charles Kushner, Jared’s father, was imprisoned for charges that included a particularly sordid blackmail effort.
According to a source close to Rubenstein, the first step was to buy a trophy asset in Manhattan and shift his center of operations from New Jersey to New York City. The second step was to buy a newspaper or publication, ostensibly owned by Jared. The third step was to have Jared date someone prominent.
Ivanka Trump turned out to be the perfect partner, once she converted to orthodox Judaism. Ivanka had been honing her PR skills from childhood. In her autobiography, she wrote, “Perception is more important than reality.”
From Kushner, Inc.: The epigraph of Chapter Four: “She’s Got the Biggest Set of Balls in the Room
So, one can see how the guiding principles of the couple would lead to their voluntary testimony before the House Committee.
First of all, to state the obvious: it wouldn’t be a good look to be subpoenaed—and that would surely have ultimately happened.
Second, Kushner had nothing to lose. He wasn’t around for January 6. He was flying back from Saudi Arabia, so what could be safer than to just testify and say he wasn’t even there?
As for Ivanka? We know from the testimony already given by Mike Pence aide Keith Kellogg that Ivanka pressed her father to tell the rioters to stop.
It’s possible Jared and Ivanka already know that being seen to do the right thing here—and thereby separating themselves from Trump, who has told a couple of sources he would not be surprised to be indicted—is critical for the directors of Indian Creek.
My sources say that the club has already privately agreed to let them in—discreetly.
“The couple will get in, but slowly,” one local told me. “It’s going to be slow-walked. The club does not want the blowback from not admitting them, nor the ruckus from Trump. Having said that, your reporting is right. There are also some members who are very against it.”
Presumably, their voluntary testimony helped a little.
To cap this off with a bit of personal news related to the Kushners:
News broke Friday night that former ABC news president James Goldston has launched his own production company and that one of his first three projects will be a scripted limited/potential anthology series based on Kushner, Inc. for which yours truly is a producer. I will shut up on that one for now, for obvious reasons, but it is exciting. Stay tuned…