Looks like President-elect Donald Trump’s son-in-law will be joining the administration. Jared Kushner is currently filing the necessary financial disclosure documents “to take a formal White House position,” the New York Times reports, citing “people involved in the process.” A spokeswoman for Kushner confirmed that he is currently analyzing what he would have to do before joining the White House team. As part of this process he would resign as chief executive of Kushner Companies and also divest “substantial assets.”
“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,” the spokeswoman said in a statement. “Although plans are not finalized, Mr. Kushner would resign from his position at Kushner Companies and divest substantial assets in accordance with federal guidelines.”
Word of the steps that Kushner is taking to join Trump’s administration comes as the New York Times reports that Ivanka Trump’s husband has been pursuing a real estate project with a company that has ties to the Chinese government. The Times notes that while lots of attention has been paid to the Trump Organization and its myriad of potential conflicts, less has been said about Kushner Companies “and on the ethical thicket he would have to navigate while advising his father-in-law on policy that could affect his bottom line.”
Kushner’s talks with the Anbang Insurance Group for the redevelopment of a property in Manhattan began six months ago, around the time when Trump became the Republican nominee for president. And while he continued these business conversations, the 35-year-old Kushner also clearly become one of the most powerful and influential members of Trump’s inner circle.*
This influence appears particularly strong in foreign policy even though he’s got private business interests in numerous key countries. Trump, for example, has publicly said Kushner, who is an Orthodox Jew, will play a key role in U.S. relations with Israel. But Kushner’s company has received numerous loans from Israel’s largest bank, Bank Hapoalim, which the Justice Department is investigating for allegations that it helped Americans evade taxes.
*Correction, Jan. 9, 2016: This post originally misstated Jared Kushner’s age at the time of publication. He was 35, not 36.