Conflicts of Interest? Jared Kushner Just Had an Ethics Complaint Filed Against Him Over Business Ownership

Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner, Donald Trump
President Donald Trump walks along the West Wing colonnade with his daughter Ivanka Trump and his son-in-law Jared Kushner, who is senior adviser to the president for strategic planning, in Washington, D.C., on March 17. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

A legal watchdog has filed an ethics complaint against Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner over alleged conflicts of interest between his stake in a real estate company and his role at the White House.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) claim in a complaint submitted on Thursday that Kushner failed to declare his ownership interest in online real estate investment company Cadre, which is reportedly valued at $800 million.

Kushner’s interest in Cadre did not appear on his public financial disclosure statement, CREW claims, suggesting the Office of Government Ethics was not aware of the extent of Kushner’s investments when it granted him permission to sell similar assets.

“Kushner’s failure to disclose his ownership in Cadre is very troubling,” CREW Executive Director Noah Bookbinder said in a statement.

“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,” he added.

Kushner’s interest in Cadre was revealed by The Wall Street Journal in May, with the publication alleging the husband of Ivanka Trump, the president’s oldest daughter, had also failed to disclose more than $1 billion in loans from 20 lenders.

However, Kushner did disclose his ownership of a company called BFPS Ventures LLC, under which Cadre falls, Kushner’s lawyer Jamie Gorelick said at the time of the WSJ report.

Kushner “resigned from Cadre’s board, assigned his voting rights, and reduced his ownership share,” Gorelick told Fox Business, adding he had discussed his ownership of Cadre with the Office of Government Ethics (OGE).

But the complaint filed by CREW claims the Office of Government Ethics granted Kushner a certificate of divesture based on “incomplete information” and urges the department to “thoroughly review whether Mr. Kushner properly disclosed his assets as required, as well as whether he has properly divested from all of his ownership interests, including Cadre, that present a conflict of interest.”

“OGE should investigate immediately and determine whether any sanction or referral is appropriate for Kushner’s potential disclosure violations and whether it is necessary for him to fully divest from Cadre,” Bookbinder said.

“As one of the most senior members of the administration, it is of the utmost importance that Kushner is following ethics rules and regulations and avoiding conflicts of interest,” he added.

The White House senior adviser also made headlines in May over his meetings with Russian officials during Trump’s 2016 election campaign.

The White House did not immediately respond to Newsweek’s request for comment.