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Jared Kushner's In Trouble With Watch Dog Group

Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law and a Senior White House Advisor, is under fire for maintained involvement in certain business interests. Mr. Kushner was the subject of a scathing letter from a Washington D.C. watchdog group, with the writer referencing Mr. Kushner’s interests in a business called Cadre, an online real estate investment company.

The ethics complaint was filed by a group called CREW – Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington – and it was delivered to the Office of Government Ethics. Noah Bookbinder, the Executive Director of CREW, has spoken out about the group’s decision to file the complaint, telling reporters from ‘The Hill’ that “Kushner’s failure to disclose his ownership in Cadre is very troubling. It appears to be one of his larger investments, not something he could easily overlook, and it is impossible to ensure that senior government officials are behaving ethically if they fail to disclose key assets.”

Specifically, CREW are concerned by the fact that the Office of Government Ethics granted Mr. Kushner a certificate of divestiture, allowing government employees “to defer capital gains taxes on property they sell to comply with conflict of interest requirements.” As part of this arrangement, Mr. Kushner is obligated to dump any and all interests in Cadre. According to Mr. Bookbinder, Mr. Kushner has done nothing of the sort.

However, with Mr. Kushner’s lawyer, Jamie Gorelick, stepping in, CREW will find it difficult to press ahead with their accusations. Ms. Gorelick has released a firm statement about her client’s involvement with Cadre, declaring that “Mr. Kushner resigned from Cadre’s board, assigned his voting rights, and reduced his ownership share. As part of this restructuring, Mr. Kushner's interest in Cadre was transferred to BFPS Ventures, LLC."

In the statement, Ms. Gorelick also addressed the question of Mr. Kushner’s capital gains, writing: "The interest in Cadre was added before we were contacted by the Wall Street Journal. We prepared the form on Mr. Kushner’s behalf and have been working closely with OGE to ensure that it satisfies disclosure requirements.”

The Office of Government Ethics is in the process of reviewing governmental disclosures and Ms. Gorelick has emphasized that “it is normal for an appointee to make changes to a financial disclosure report and add information during [the OGE] review process," affirming that her client is acting “consistent with government ethics rules.”

The complaint against Mr. Kushner’s business holdings is nothing new for the Office of Government Ethics. Since President Trump’s inauguration, public and private individuals and groups have rebuked the agency for failing to investigate President Trump’s ties with the Trump Organization, a conglomerate that is managed by Mr. Trump’s two sons, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump.

Hui Chen, a veteran Justice Department official, has spoken out about the Trump Administration’s dubious commitment to Federal ethics. Ms. Chen recently resigned from the Justice Department, bitterly disappointed by the lack of transparency in the White House, emphasizing that there were “conducts I would not tolerate seeing in a company, yet I worked under an administration that engaged in exactly those conduct. I wanted no more part in it.”

Source: The Hill
Photo: YouTube

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