WFB: Wealthy Democrat says he was unaware of Chinese investment until contacted by the Washington Free Beacon.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D., Conn.) and his wife Cynthia have a six-figure investment in a massive retail shopping complex in Shanghai that is part of a partnership between a Chinese government-controlled business consortium and Disney.
The Blumenthals have an investment of between $100,000 and $250,000 in U.S. Shanghai LLC, according to the senator’s annual financial disclosures. U.S. Shanghai LLC is a subsidiary of Malkin Properties, a company owned by Blumenthal’s brother-in-law, Scott Malkin. The company partnered in 2014 with the state-owned Shanghai Shendi Group to build Shanghai Village, a 592,000-square-foot luxury shopping resort next to Shanghai Disneyland. The Blumenthals are also invested in U.S. Suzhou LLC, another Malkin-owned shopping center near Shanghai.
A spokeswoman for Blumenthal said the senator was unaware that he and his wife are invested in the venture until contacted for comment by the Washington Free Beacon. Maria McElwain, a communications director for Blumenthal, said Blumenthal’s wife, Cynthia Malkin Blumenthal, is a passive investor in an investment vehicle controlled by her brother’s company. McElwain said Cynthia Blumenthal “has no control, influence, or discretionary power” over the Shanghai investment. She also said the Blumenthals have not discussed the investment with Malkin.
But the investment could pose a political liability for Blumenthal, who is up for reelection next year. American firms’ investments in China have come under increased scrutiny due to concerns the Chinese government is using its partnerships to exploit the United States. Blumenthal’s apparent lack of awareness of the investment is also a possible testament to his vast wealth. Blumenthal is one of the richest members of the Senate. more here