Washington —White House Senior Advisor and Assistant to the President Jared Kushner appears to have failed to make the required disclosure of his ownership interest in an online real estate investment company called Cadre, and likely must divest from Cadre to prevent having a conflict of interest, according to a complaint filed today by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) with the Office of Government Ethics (OGE).
Kushner co-founded Cadre and continues to own a significant part of it. In his public financial disclosure statement, however, he failed to disclose that ownership interest. He likely failed to disclose his ownership interest in documents connected with his request for a certificate of divestiture, meaning OGE apparently had incomplete information when it granted Kushner permission to sell similar assets and avoid paying certain taxes on them. These cannot be written off as minor oversights, as Cadre reportedly has a value of $800 million.
“Kushner’s failure to disclose his ownership in Cadre is very troubling,” CREW Executive Director Noah Bookbinder said. “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.”
Kushner also has not apparently divested from Cadre, even though it appears to present a similar conflict of interest to his other interests in the technology and electronic commerce sector that he and OGE agreed he needed to divest from in order to comply with conflict of interest laws and rules.
“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.”