President-elect Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, may be headed for a job in the White House.
Kushner is in the process of filing financial disclosure documents in preparation for taking a formal role as an adviser to the president, sources close to the process told The New York Times on Saturday.
He has hired WilmerHale, a Washington-based law firm, to help him navigate and comply with federal ethics laws, The New York Times reported. Kushner leased a 7,000 square foot home in the Kalorama neighborhood of Washington, just blocks away from the Obama family’s new home, in preparation for his move.
At the same time, Kushner is working to close a deal with a major Chinese financial company, Anbang, to redevelop a property that Kushner’s company owns in Manhattan, according to the Times. Anbang, which owns the Waldorf Astoria hotel and controls an estimated $285 billion in assets, is owned by a tangled web of shell companies and reportedly has ties to the Chinese government.
In order to avoid conflicts, Kushner will likely step down from the CEO position at his family’s company, and divest “substantial assets,” Jamie S. Gorelick, a partner at WilmerHale, told the Times.
“Mr. Kushner is committed to complying with federal ethics laws, and we have been consulting with the Office of Government Ethics regarding the steps he would take,” Gorelick said.
Incoming Cabinet members must disclose their finances to the nonpartisan Office of Government Ethics to avoid conflicts-of-interest before their Senate confirmation hearings. Members of Trump’s proposed Cabinet — composed of many centimillionaires and billionaires — hold complicated assets, like buildings and equity stakes in companies, which makes the OGE’s job especially difficult.
The OGE’s director, Walter Shaub, said he was “concerned” that his office would not have enough time to complete the ethics reviews before Senate Republicans begin confirmation hearings next week, according to Politico.
Shaub said that his office would have to “rush through” the reviews, adding that he was unaware of any instance of confirmation hearings occurring before an ethics review was completed.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, the Democrat from New York, said in a statement on Saturday that Trump’s transition team is colluding with Senate Republicans to “jam through” cabinet nominees without them being “thoroughly vetted.”
The Senate will hold six confirmation hearings for Trump’s cabinet on Wednesday.