Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump could face an ethics minefield over their estimated $741 million real estate and investment empire, which they have maintained even as they plunge into key roles at the White House.
Ethics experts say the couple is legally barred from taking actions that could benefit the farflung empire, which could be particularly difficicult since real estate attracts foreign investors, the New York Times reported.
Donald Trump may be able to claim he is expempt from many conflict of interest rules as president. His daughter and son-in-law, who are serving as top advisors, have no such claim.
“Donald Trump can evade legal responsibility even if the conflicts of interest remain,” said Noah Bookbinder, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a liberal nonprofit group, told the paper. “His daughter and son-in-law don’t have that escape hatch.”
Kushner and Ivanka Trump’s assets were revealed in a late night document dump on Friday.
Their lawyer insists that they pose no real conflct threat because White House policy is unlikely to affect the value of real estate holdings.
Critics counter that Chinese and other foreign entities may seek to exploit potential deals to win leverage with Trump or his relatives.
Jared And Ivanka Face Ethics Minefield Over $741M Empire
Dave Goldiner is the Forward’s director of digital media. Dave is a veteran journalist who has spent two decades working at newspapers in the United States and Africa. A native New Yorker, Goldiner wrote for the New York Daily News, where he covered some of the biggest stories of our time, including the attacks of September 11, along with thousands of stories of hope and heartbreak. He also studied and worked in Southern Africa and has written for publications in South Africa and Zimbabwe. He holds masters degrees in journalism and public administration from Columbia University. Dave can be reached at email@example.com, or follow him on Twitter @davegoldiner