10th January, 2017
Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, is expected to be named as a senior adviser to the president and to assume an official role in the West Wing in coming weeks, according to two senior Trump transition officials.
Kushner, one of the most influential voices in Trump’s inner circle, is credited with helping steer the presidential campaign to victory and has been expected to continue in a close advisory role to Trump after he takes office Jan. 20. When Trump made his first visit to the White House after the election, Kushner was among the few advisers to accompany him and had a private meeting with White House chief of staff Denis McDonough.
Trump today would not discuss Kushner’s role in the incoming administration, saying he will speak more about it during his Wednesday press conference.
“Oh, we’ll talk about that on Wednesday,” Trump told reporters today at Trump Tower in New York City.
Kushner is preparing to resign from his position at Kushner Companies and “divest substantial assets,” said Jamie Gorelick, his attorney and partner at the law firm of WilmerHale.
Gorelick would not comment specifically on the report that Kushner will be named a senior adviser to the president but said Kushner is committed to complying with ethics laws.
“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. Although plans are not finalized, Mr. Kushner would resign from his position at Kushner Companies and divest substantial assets in accordance with federal guidelines. He would recuse from particular matters that would have a direct and predictable effect on his remaining financial interests. He would also abide by federal rules requiring impartiality in particular matters involving specific parties,” Gorelick said in a statement.
Kushner’s wife, Ivanka Trump, is expected to move with him to Washington, D.C. Her role, if any, in the White House remains unclear.
“If you look at Ivanka, take a look at — she is so strong into the women’s issue, child care and so many things, she would be so good. Nobody could do better than her, and I just have to see whether or not we can do that,” Trump told “Fox News Sunday” last month.
“I would love to have Jared helping us with deals with other nations and see if we can do peace in the Middle East and other things. He’s very talented,” Donald Trump said.
Kushner’s expected appointment as a senior adviser — a role that does not require Senate confirmation — would raise a number of legal and ethical questions, given his family ties to the president-elect.
The expected move would occur in what ethics experts describe as a legal gray area in the federal anti-nepotism statute. That law forbids appointment of family members to federal agencies, but some legal analysts see wiggle room, saying the White House may not be considered a government agency.