In-Depth: Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) introduced this bill to mandate greater transparency in recusals by White House officials and staff:
“The reports of Mr. Kushner’s potential violations of ethics law are only the most recent example of Trump White House officials recklessly ignoring blatant and potential conflicts of interest. Our legislation will bring transparency, and through it, greater accountability by establishing a clear record of when and why officials recuse themselves, and when they fail to do so. Public service demands putting the interests of our country ahead of our own and this legislation will help make it clear to the American people when White House officials fail to live up to that standard.”
Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA), an original cosponsor of this bill, added that transparency will prevent officials’ abuse of their power for personal ends:
“Yet again we find ourselves having to step in to prevent White House officials from further abusing their positions to line their own pockets… Transparency is a weak point for this administration, so the only way to understand officials’ webs of potential conflicts is enabling them to disclose that they’re acting in the best interest of the American public. The American people deserve to know whether their public officials are serving their country or their own financial interests.”
Of Note: Rep. Krishnamoorthi was prompted to introduce this bill due to concerns over Jared Kushner’s conflicts of interest, as reported by the New York Times in February 2018. As reported by the Times, the president’s son-in-law held meetings at the White House in 2017 with executives from Apollo Global Management LLC and Citigroup Inc. — and those companies later gave $509 million in real-estate financing to Kushner Companies, which Jared once ran and retained a significant interest in after joining the White House.
In addition to those meetings, Kushner has come under scrutiny for numerous other real estate concerns that he has promoted while in the White House, including soliciting investments from a company tied to the Chinese government while helping shape China policy and pursuing cash from Israeli investors and a Qatari sheikh while conducting Middle East diplomacy. Other members of his family also came under fire for touting their White House ties while trying to sell visas to Chinese investors.
Summary by Lorelei Yang(Photo Credit: iStock.com / Adventure_Photo)