Jared Kushner Keeping Parts of Business Empire-Despite Conflicts of Interest.

The following is from ProPublica:

Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and the heir to a family real estate empire, has emerged as perhaps Donald Trump’s closest adviser. A near-constant presence by Trump’s side, his portfolio includes business, tax, political, and foreign policy matters.

Last month his lawyers outlined a plan under which they said Kushner would avoid any possibility that his White House work would overlap with his business interests.

The plan didn’t have much detail. But newly releaseddocuments and statements from the White House are making the picture clearer: Kushner is keeping parts of his family business.

Kushner retains some real estate holdings associated with Kushner Companies, a White House spokesperson said in an email.

Kushner has divested ownership of a number of Kushner Companies businesses and one large Manhattan office building, the White House spokesperson said. But the White House and a Kushner Companies spokesman declined to say what Kushner is keeping and what he has given up.

Kushner’s decision to keep some of his business, ethics lawyers say, raises questions about how he will recuse himself from government matters that could affect his own bank account.

“What mechanism will the White House use to ensure that Kushner will not participate in matters that affect his retained financial interests?” asked Kathleen Clark, an ethics law expert and professor at Washington University School of Law. “We, the public, should have information about what types of matters Kushner is going to have to recuse from.”

Given the sprawling and complicated nature of the Kushner family business, the issue is not academic.

The New York Times recently explored Kushner Companies’ dealings with a Chinese firm that has ties to that country’s government. Kushner Companies has also had relationships with a number of large financial firms such as Goldman Sachs that will likely be affected by Trump administration policies.

Kushner Companies’ real estate holdings are intertwined with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the mortgage finance giants that may face an overhaul during the Trump administration, as Bloomberg recently reported.

Asked about Kushner’s plan to avoid conflicts, White House spokeswoman Hope Hicks did not offer any specific areas that he will recuse himself from. She said in an email:

“Like other government employees, Mr. Kushner will recuse from particular matters that would have a direct and predictable effect on his financial interests and will comply with financial disclosure requirements.”

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