WASHINGTON, March 8 Three Democratic lawmakers
questioned the White House on Wednesday over its handling of
U.S. President Donald Trump's son-in-law's potential conflicts
of interest now that he is serving as an official adviser.
Jared Kushner, a real estate developer who advised Trump
during the presidential campaign, was cleared by the U.S.
Department of Justice in January to serve as a White House
senior adviser. Kushner, who is married to Trump's daughter
Ivanka, has been given a wide range of domestic and foreign
policy responsibilities, including working on a Middle East
In a letter to Deputy White House Counsel Stefan Passantino,
Democratic Senators Elizabeth Warren and Tom Carper expressed
concern over media reports that Kushner is maintaining some
business interests, and asked how the White House plans to
comply with laws that prohibit federal officials from profiting
by government work.
"Neither the White House nor Mr. Kushner's attorneys,
however, has confirmed which financial assets Mr. Kushner still
controls," making oversight "impossible," they wrote with Elijah
Cummings, the senior Democrat on the Committee on Oversight and
Government Reform in the House of Representatives.
They also said the White House, unlike previous
administrations, is not posting ethics-pledge waivers on its
websites, adding that the public should know the issues from
which Kushner must recuse himself.
The White House had no immediate comment on the letter, and
representatives for Kushner did not immediately reply to a
request for comment.
Before the Trump took office on Jan. 20, Kushner's lawyer
said her client would leave his family's company, divest
substantial assets and recuse himself from matters that could
impact his financial interests, Bloomberg reported.
Public interest journalism site ProPublica, citing documents
submitted to the U.S. Office of Government Ethics, reported in
February that Kushner had divested some assets but was keeping
other holdings linked to privately-held Kushner Companies.
In authorizing Kushner's appointment, the Justice Department
ruled that Trump, as president, has special hiring authority
that exempts White House positions from laws barring the
president from naming a relative to lead a federal agency.
The Democratic lawmakers called on the White House for
details on what holdings Kushner maintains, a list of issues he
will recuse himself from, and copies of any ethics waivers.
They also raised questions about holdings belonging to his
wife, who established a clothes and jewelry line, and whether
that would lead Kushner to recuse himself from any issues.
Trump himself has said he would maintain ownership of his
global business empire but would hand off control to his two
oldest sons while president.
(Reporting by Susan Heavey; Editing by David Alexander and