Ivanka Trump made $4 million from her investment in her father’s Washington hotel last year, according to a disclosure released by the White House today.
Among the dozens of sources of income for Ivanka Trump was a $263,500 book advance for “Women Who Work: Rewriting the Rules for Success,” published in 2017. Trump has pledged to donate royalties to her charitable fund.
She also made at least $1 million from her line of branded apparel, jewelry and other merchandise, down from at least $5 million in the previous year.
Trump, 37, announced in July that she was closing her fashion businesses amid controversies over her role in the White House and after some big-name department stores dropped the brand.
Together, Trump and husband Jared Kushner earned between $28.8 million and $135.1 million in outside income while working as unpaid senior advisers to her father, President Trump, their disclosures, which covers 2018, show.
Administration officials, including cabinet members and top advisers to the president, have to file annual financial disclosure forms with their agencies by May 15, which must make them public 30 days later.
The forms show incomes and the value of their assets in broad ranges, as well as providing information about employment arrangements, sales and purchases they’ve made while in office and gifts they’ve received.
The disclosure for her husband, Jared Kushner, shows that he took in hundreds of thousands of dollars from his holdings of New York City apartments and that he owns a stake in the real estate investment firm Cadre worth at least $25 million.
Kushner’s holdings of apartment buildings through his family real estate firm, Kushner Cos., were the source of much of his income.
Westminster Management, the family business overseeing its rental buildings, generated $1.5 million.
The president’s son-in-law and senior adviser, who has divested from some but not all of his own family real estate interests, is a prime example of how broadly interpreted ethics laws and vague disclosure requirements have failed to accommodate the arrival of public servants who don’t limit their financial and other entanglements while working for the government.
According to a report in the Guardian, a real estate company called Cadre in which he has an interest got some money from Saudi Arabia through an offshore fund run by Goldman Sachs.
Does that mean Kushner can’t be involved in Middle East policy?
The situation illustrates that the US laws meant to identify conflicts of interest don’t do much to prevent them, particularly when it comes to extremely rich people like Kushner with complicated financial root systems.
Cadre is among scores of LLCs in which Kushner reported owning a stake.
In his filings, Kushner reported leaving his official positions with Cadre in 2017 and is not involved in day-to-day operations.
According to the new disclosures, his ongoing investment, however, is valued at $25 million to $50 million, though he reported receiving no income from it in 2018.
Here’s another example having to do with Kushner’s interest in Cadre.
Last November, the company pitched opportunities to take advantage of a tax break created by the 2017 tax overhaul that encourages real estate investment in low-income areas.
Is it a conflict that Kushner’s wife, Ivanka Trump, a fellow White House adviser, pushed hard for the so-called “opportunity zone” tax break in the new tax law?
She’s showed up at events promoting the investment opportunity.
Watchdog groups asked the Justice Department to launch an investigation.
A spokesman for Kushner and Trump told CNN at the time that the watchdog request was “a politically motivated and meritless complaint.”
But federal law “prohibits Government employees from participating personally and substantially in official matters where they have a financial interest.
In addition to their own interests, those of their spouse, minor child, general partner, and certain other persons and organizations are attributed to them,” according to the Office of Government Ethics, which certifies them for other executive branch employees like Kushner, though not for the President.
Like his father-in-law’s assets, Kushner’s wealth is spread out like roots from a tree, and hard to follow in the very general forms he and other administration officials are required to file each year.
Trump has argued those forms are more detailed than tax returns, but ethics watchdogs say that for a candidate like Trump, both should be released, and that the laws should be updated.
“We have never seen an administration before with this level of issues with financial disclosures, both in number and scale,” said Jordan Libowitz, spokesman for the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. “The tone is set at the top, and when you have a President that does not appear to care about ethics issues — especially around finances — it’s not surprising that you have an administration that doesn’t either.”