January 24, 2019
Ivanka Trump’s business received renewals for two Russian trademarks on October 5, 2016, just a month before her father was elected President of the United States. The trademarks, which were set to expire in September 2016, covered a wide variety of items, including jewelry, coffee sets, candelabra, and retail services. A third trademark expired in July of 2017.
Ivanka isn’t the only Trump family member who had business interests in Russia during the 2016 campaign. The Trump Organization continued to pursue a deal to build a Trump Tower in Moscow while Donald Trump ran for president. Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen testified to Congress that negotiations stopped in January of 2016, but documents suggest that they continued into the summer of 2016, and perhaps even later. Russia also renewed several of Trump’s trademarks in 2016, including at least one for Trump Tower.
Ivanka, who now serves as a White House adviser, appeared to have been closely involved in the Trump Tower Moscow project during the 2016 campaign. She reportedly told Cohen to contact a Russian weightlifter to advance a deal in Moscow, and was supposed to oversee the development of an Ivanka Trump spa at Trump Tower Moscow. (Ivanka’s husband Jared Kushner, meanwhile, had multiple contacts with Russians during the campaign that he initially failed to disclose).
There is no evidence that Ivanka’s renewed Russian trademarks are connected to the Trump Tower Moscow project, and instead seem to be focused on her personal brand. However, the renewed trademarks, which do not expire until 2026, continue to raise ethics questions concerning Ivanka’s business interests while she serves as a White House official.