Ivanka Trump
Ivanka Trump arrives to visit U.S.A House on day sixteen of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea, Feb. 25, 2018. Getty Images/ Carl Court

The FBI is investigating the business dealings connected to Trump International Hotel and Tower in Vancouver, a project spearheaded by first daughter and White House senior adviser Ivanka Trump.

According to a United States counterintelligence official and a former U.S. official, who spoke to CNN on the condition of anonymity, the FBI is currently looking into international business ties of both Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner.

While it would not be out of the ordinary for the FBI to probe into foreign contacts and international business deals of the couple as both of them are senior advisors to President Donald Trump, the increased scrutiny into Ivanka’s business entanglements started after her husband’s security clearance in the White House was downgraded from “Top Secret” to “Secret” earlier this week.

It was revealed in a report by the Washington Post that since Kushner took on the role of the president’s senior advisor, officials in countries such as China planned ways in which they could manipulate him. However, it is not immediately clear if the additional investigation into Ivanka’s business dealings could have a negative impact on her security clearance in the White House.

Peter Mirijanian, a spokesman for Ivanka's ethics counsel, slammed reports that FBI’s probe was going to have any impact on her role in the Trump administration.

"CNN is wrong that any hurdle, obstacle, concern, red flag or problem has been raised with respect to Ms. Trump or her clearance application," Mirijanian said. "Nothing in the new White House policy has changed Ms. Trump's ability to do the same work she has been doing since she joined the Administration."

It is also not clear as to why the FBI handpicked the Trump International Hotel in Vancouver as their subject of investigation. According to reports, the fact that it was one of the significant Trump family projects to have been inaugurated after the president took office could be one of the reasons behind the FBI’s interest.

Like many other properties, the Trump Organization does not own the hotel but instead, receives a contracted fee for licensing and marketing the project under the Trump brand.

The hotel in question is a 616-foot mammoth which opened for business in February 2017. It features a trademarked Ivanka Trump spa.

Trump International Hotel Vancouver
Trump International Hotel in Vancouver is a is a 616-foot mammoth which opened for business in Feb. 2017. In this photo, Protesters demonstrate by writing messages on the opening day for the hotel on Feb. 28, 2017. Getty Images/ STEPHANIE LAMY

"The company's role was and is limited to licensing its brand and managing the hotel,” Alan Garten, executive vice president and chief legal officer for the Trump Organization, said. “Accordingly, the company would have had no involvement in the financing of the project or the sale of units."

Its developer is Joo Kim Tiah, who hails from one of Malaysia’s wealthiest families.

At the October 2015 launch of a "Trump Luxe" VIP service for condo residents, where both Joo Kim and Ivanka were present, he recalled that at a board room meeting for the Vancouver project, for which he had flown to New York, he was advised to impress Ivanka if he wanted the deal to go smoothly.

"One of the senior vice-presidents pulled me aside and said: 'Joo Kim, it's really important in your presentation that you connect with Ivanka. In other words: no one else is in the room, you have to understand that," Joo Kim said. "In that meeting, it was clearly just me and Ivanka talking about the project.”

Ivanka played a vital role in the final negotiations of the deal struck with Joo Kim in 2013.