Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner is all set to be appointed as a senior adviser to the US president-elect, Trump’s campaign announced on Monday. Kushner will work on the Middle East and trade deals, according to transition officials.
Kushner, soon to be 36 and who is married to Ivanka Trump, has been described by Trump as “a tremendous asset and trusted advisor” to his 2016 election campaign. The president-elect also says that he is proud to have the real estate developer in “a key leadership role” in his administration.
Did Trump violate US nepotism laws?
Anti-nepotism laws in the US prevents a president from appointing a close relative to high positions in the administration. Initially, it did seem like Kushner may have to face legal as well as ethical questions, following the announcement.
However, The ABC reports Kushner as having taken legal counsel before accepting the post, and hence will be able to avoid any nepotism charges. This is because the anti-nepotism laws may not be applicable to the White House. Refusing to take salary for the post further strengthens his position against any nepotism claims.
Kushner is a real estate developer like his father-in-law. He is co-owner of Kushner Companies. The business is very profitable with Kushner doing business worth billions of dollars with foreign companies. He plans to resign from his company and divest substantial assets. The assets that remain will be bought by a trust.
According to Vanity Fair, Kushner’s lawyer Jamie Gorelick said, "Although plans are not finalised, Mr Kushner would resign from his position at Kushner Companies and divest substantial assets in accordance with federal guidelines.”
He further went on to say that Kushner would exempt from matters that might have a direct and predictable effect on his remaining assets, and that he will abide by fedral rules that may require of him to be impartial in matters involving specific parties.
In light of this announcement, everyone has started paying close attention to Kushner’s business dealings. He is under greater scrutiny today than ever before. Ivanka Trump has not been appointed to any administrative post as of yet. She plans to work on settling her family in Washington.