Jared Kushner has been keeping a particularly low profile lately. Ever since his temporary security clearance was downgraded due to issues with his federal financial disclosure forms, the president’s son-in-law has been staying out of the headlines.
Perhaps the diminished presence has something to do with the latest of the reported 40 separate revisions to Kushner’s ethics disclosure filing that the unconfirmed Secretary of Anything-That-Trump-Wants-Him-To-Do has made according to ProPublica.
“A Kushner representative confirmed the errors, attributing them to data entry and accounting mistakes. The representative said the figures will be revised in the next annual filing, which is due soon.”
According to Newsweek:
“The two latest misstatements concerned loans that Kushner’s family-run real estate company Kushner Cos. made to two projects in Brooklyn, 9 DeKalb Avenue and 215 Moore Street….The loans could have yielded more income through interest over a year than the amount the loans themselves were worth.”
This latest update to Kushner’s oft-revised disclosure form led Jordan Libowitz, a spokesperson for Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), a nonprofit legal watchdog group, to tell Newsweek that it is “mind-boggling how someone can have that many errors and that many amendments and keep their job.”
“If anything, one or two amendments, but we’re at 40 at this point,” Libowitz said. “If he were not married to the president’s daughter, it would be shocking that he still is a presidential adviser.”
A representative for Kushner told the weekly newsmagazine that the presidential son-in-law “has not filed 40 revisions of his disclosure report.” Instead, they claim that Kushner has only filed two reports, one in March 2017, the second in July 2017, and a revision to the 2nd report in January 2018.
To explain the discrepancy between their account and the 40 revisions that database at the Office of Government Ethics (OGE) registered, Kushner’s representative claimed that the database was merely counting revisions made to a “draft working document” in between official submissions.
Using the philosophical standard of “if a tree falls in the woods and there is no one there to hear it, does it make a sound?” to evaluate “when is a revision not a revision?” may not be the best way to determine whether a senior White House advisor is following proper ethical procedures, but in the Trump administration there is so little attention paid to proper ethical procedures, the best question may be “if the president lies, cheats, and colludes and there is no Democratic majority in Congress to impeach him, how the hell do we get out of this mess?”
The answer to that question remains in the November midterm elections.
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