Kushner won’t divest from real estate tech startup: report
Senior White House adviser Jared Kushner has reportedly halted his plans to divest from a tech startup that he co-founded.
CNBC reported Wednesday that Kushner is no longer seeking to divest from his part ownership of Cadre, which provides high-tech services to clients making high-end real estate investments.
The White House did not immediately return requests for comment to CNBC or The Hill.
Kushner originally planned to divest from the company after it was revealed that it had been partially fueled by foreign investors, according to CNBC, and transferred his shares to a blind trust in February. His stake in the company reportedly ranges from $25 million to $50 million, totaling nearly 2.5 million shares.
In late June, an Office of Government Ethics (OGE) report detailing Kushner’s plans to sell the stock was withdrawn, indicating that the sale had been canceled, CNBC first reported.
Responding to the news in a lengthy blog post, experts with Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) wrote that Kushner’s continued ownership of Cadre stock was an “ethical landmine.”
“Kushner’s attorney also cited potential conflicts of interest as the reason he chose to pursue divestiture, given Kushner’s broad foreign policy portfolio in the White House and Cadre’s business abroad. If, as it seems, both OGE and Kushner’s attorney believed he had a conflict of interest related to Cadre, why did OGE withdraw the CD?” they wrote.
“The Trump family has not earned the benefit of the doubt when it comes to conflicts of interest, and Trump himself has managed to accumulate more than 3,200 conflicts so far during his presidency. With the example set by his father in law, it’s no surprise that Kushner is playing fast and loose with conflicts of interest,” CREW added.
Cadre’s executives have attempted to distance themselves from Kushner, pointing to clients who refuse to deal with the firm as a result of his partial ownership.
“There are people who won’t work with us [because of the Kushner connection], and we get that. But we have over 80 investors in the company. Jared is a passive investor who has no operational control,” CEO Ryan Williams told Forbes.