Daughter Ivanka Trump and son-in-law Jared Kushner were White House advisers to former President Donald Trump.

Editor’s Note: Dean Obeidallah, a former attorney, is the host of SiriusXM radio’s daily program “The Dean Obeidallah Show.” Follow him @DeanObeidallah@masto.ai. The opinions expressed in this commentary are his own. View more opinion on CNN.

CNN  — 

James Comer, chairman of the House Oversight and Accountability Committee, has kicked off his committee’s investigation into whether President Joe Biden’s son Hunter, Biden’s brother James and others in the Biden orbit somehow profited financially from their connection to the President.

Dean Obeidallah

Comer, a Kentucky Republican, alleged in a letter last week to Hunter Biden that he and his associates “peddled influence to generate millions of dollars for the Biden family.” He declared in his committee’s press release touting the investigation, “The American people deserve transparency and accountability about the Biden family’s influence peddling.”

If Comer is sincere about transparency and accountability when it comes to influence peddling in politics, then he should be readying similar letters to Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump. All three may have personally profited from their time in the White House.

When it comes to Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law who was his senior White House adviser, and the former President, we need look no further for evidence demanding an investigation than this weekend’s blockbuster Washington Post article titled “After helping prince’s rise, Trump and Kushner benefit from Saudi funds.”

Asked whether his committee would investigate the Post’s reporting, Comer told ABC’s “This Week,” “I think everything’s on the table,” before he quickly turned to the current probe of the Biden family.

If Comer reads this article, he will see red flag after red flag of how Kushner and Trump potentially pocketed money from recent business deals with the Saudi government after helping Saudi Arabia and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, widely known as MBS, while in the White House. (Representatives for the Trump Organization and Kushner did not respond to CNN’s request for comment about the Post report. The former President and his son-in-law also declined to comment to the newspaper.)

Don Fox, former acting director of the Office of Government Ethics, told the Post that there was no requirement for Trump, a former commander in chief, or Kushner, a former senior White House official, to disclose financial ties to foreign governments. “He said their work has exposed a glaring shortfall in ethics laws that needs to be fixed by Congress,” the paper reported.

As the Post details, Kushner and Trump both were facing “unprecedented business challenges” when they left the White House. Trump had seen revenue from his properties dramatically decline, plus the controversy surrounding the January 6, 2021, attack made him toxic, according to the Post. Kushner was facing his own challenges, with his family business needing a $1.2 billion bailout, the newspaper reported.

Then came Saudi Arabia and MBS to the rescue. In Kushner’s case, a fund controlled by MBS invested $2 billion in Kushner’s newly formed private equity firm, Affinity Partners, six months after he left the White House, The New York Times reported last year.

A panel that screens investments for the Saudis had raised concerns over this investment on a range of issues, including “the inexperience of the Affinity Fund management,” according to the Times. But the board headed by MBS overruled the panel and awarded the massive investment that will result in a payday to Kushner’s company of $25 million a year — not including profits earned from investments, the Times reported.

This deal raises concerns about Kushner’s repeated lobbying in favor of MBS and Saudi Arabia while in the Trump White House. The relationship between the two men may have yielded benefits for MBS after a US intelligence report on the October 2018 murder of Jamal Khashoggi determined that the crown prince had approved the operation to capture or kill the Saudi journalist. “Kushner became the prince’s most important defender inside the White House,” the Times reported in 2018 after the killing. (MBS has denied involvement in the murder.)

Beyond the Khashoggi controversy, Kushner used his influence in “persuading Trump to prioritize Saudi Arabia over the objections of top advisers,” the Post noted this weekend, citing Kushner’s own written account.

The Post also laid out how Trump appears to be benefiting from his defense of MBS and Saudi Arabia while in the White House. After a CIA report concluded MBS had authorized Khashoggi’s killing, Trump publicly undermined the report’s conclusions and opposed releasing the report, according to the Post. He also vetoed a congressional attempt to block arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

Trump wasn’t shy about what he did for MBS, stating in a recorded interview with Bob Woodward about the Saudi crown prince: “I saved his ass.”

Now we see Trump hosting Saudi-backed LIV Golf tournaments at his golf courses — which typically pay the course owner in the case of PGA events $2 million to $3 million, as the Post reported. However, Trump has not revealed how much he’s pocketing from the Saudis — which is especially alarming given he is running for President in 2024.

The Trump Organization also has recently secured an agreement with a Saudi real estate company that plans to build a Trump-branded hotel, villas and golf course in Oman as part of a $4 billion project, according to The New York Times.

Then there’s Trump’s daughter Ivanka, who was also a White House adviser. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a watchdog group, urged the Justice Department to investigate her four years ago over potentially violating conflict of interest laws by participating in the implementation of a program giving tax breaks for investors in so-called opportunity zones. (A spokesperson for Trump’s ethics attorney called the claim “politically motivated and meritless.”)

CREW also had raised concerns over Ivanka Trump’s business receiving “registration” approval for trademarks from the Chinese government in 2018 around the time that her father lifted sanctions on Chinese telecommunications company ZTE — whose controlling shareholder is a Chinese state-owned corporation.

Later in 2018, Ivanka Trump’s business received approval for 16 new trademarks from the Chinese government on a range of goods — from shoes and jewelry to voting machines. These approvals occurred while her father was negotiating a trade deal with China.

In defense of the applications for trademark, Abigail Klem, then the president of the Ivanka Trump brand, said in 2017, “We have recently seen a surge in trademark filings by unrelated third parties trying to capitalize on the name and it is our responsibility to diligently protect our trademark.”

Ivanka Trump’s lawyer at the time, Jamie Gorelick, said, “Ivanka has had no involvement with trademark applications submitted by the business” because she resigned from her position with the company. “The federal ethics rules do not require you to recuse from any matter concerning a foreign country just because a business that you have an ownership interest in has a trademark application pending there.”

Get our free weekly newsletter

  • Sign up for CNN Opinion’s newsletter.
  • Join us on Twitter and Facebook

    Comer is correct that the “American people deserve transparency and accountability” when it comes to anyone profiting off political connections — especially when the people officially served in our government. If Comer is sincere, we should be seeing letters demanding the same information from Kushner, Trump and daughter Ivanka as he sent to Hunter Biden.

    If not, then we know the congressman is doing nothing more than using our tax dollars to try to hurt the President and help the GOP.