First Daughter Ivanka Trump will likely soon be investigated for failing to recuse herself from “personally and substantially” being involved in a Trump administration program that benefits her husband, Jared Kushner.
The investigation is the result of conflict of interest allegations brought by the watchdog group, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics (CREW).
CREW asked the Justice Department on Friday to investigate whether Ivanka violated federal law by promoting an Opportunity Zone tax break program from which she could potentially benefit, along with Kushner.
BREAKING: We just filed a conflict of interest complaint against Ivanka Trump https://t.co/GnkpajL6vx
— Citizens for Ethics (@CREWcrew) January 4, 2019
The complaint from CREW came after an Associated Press (AP) investigation last month which found that Ms. Trump and Kushner, both White House advisers, would benefit from the Opportunity Zones program they pushed that offers tax breaks to developers who invest in downtrodden communities.
AP reported that Kushner owns a $25 million to $50 million stake in Cadre, a real estate investment firm which is investing in several U.S. cities under the Opportunity Zones program.
In addition, Trump and Kushner have investment interests in at least 13 other properties held by Kushner’s family firm which also qualify for the tax breaks because they are in Opportunity Zones in New Jersey, New York and Maryland.
The CREW complaint says that, under federal law, Kushner’s financial interests are considered of value to Ivanka Trump as well, and thus she is guilty of ethical and legal violations.
CREW Executive Director Noah Bookbinder sent a 12-page letter sent to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, outlining Trump’s activities. In the letter he said that as a result of the 2017 decision by Ivanka Trump and Kushner to “retain a sprawling portfolio of investments after entering government,” the couple “assumed responsibility for exercising due diligence to avoid participating in any particular matter that directly and predictably affects the interests of the companies they retained.”
Ivanka Trump, Bookbinder wrote, “has failed to live up to this responsibility.”
Bookbinder told the AP that CREW’s complaint focused on Ivanka Trump because “there is so much public information about her role in the Opportunity Zones program.”
The AP report noted that Ivanka Trump publicly promoted the program and coordinated with its main congressional sponsor, Republican Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina. President Trump lauded his daughter last February for “pushing this very hard.”
In the past, Ivanka Trump has tweeted her public support for Opportunity Zones and has appeared at White House events promoting the program.
Opportunity Zones, passed in Tax Cuts legislation, will have a transformative effect on distressed urban and rural communities across America.
Thank you @SenatorTimScott for your advocacy of this great policy. @WhiteHouseCEA @sparker https://t.co/Z8Os4Xm1ks
— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) November 9, 2018
AP reported that Kushner also backed the program, but has had limited involvement behind the scenes.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.