(Adds statement from Kushner lawyer)
WASHINGTON, March 8 Three Democratic lawmakers
questioned the White House on Wednesday over its handling of
U.S. President Donald Trump's son-in-law's potential conflicts
of interest now that he is serving as an official adviser.
Jared Kushner, a real estate developer who advised Trump
during the presidential campaign, was cleared by the U.S.
Department of Justice in January to serve as a White House
senior adviser. Kushner, who is married to Trump's eldest
daughter, Ivanka, has been given a wide range of domestic and
foreign policy responsibilities, including working on a Middle
East peace deal.
In a letter to Deputy White House Counsel Stefan Passantino,
Democratic Senators Elizabeth Warren and Tom Carper expressed
concern over media reports that Kushner is maintaining some
business interests, and asked how the White House plans to
comply with laws that prohibit federal officials from profiting
by government work.
"Neither the White House nor Mr. Kushner's attorneys,
however, has confirmed which financial assets Mr. Kushner still
controls," making oversight "impossible," they wrote with U.S.
Representative Elijah Cummings, the senior Democrat on the
Committee on Oversight and Government Reform in the House of
They also said the White House, unlike previous
administrations, is not posting ethics-pledge waivers on its
websites, adding that the public should know the issues from
which Kushner must recuse himself.
The White House had no immediate comment on the letter.
A lawyer for Kushner, Jamie Gorelick, said in a statement:
"Mr. Kushner is fully complying with the ethics rules, removing
himself from active participation in his prior businesses,
divesting of substantial assets and recusing himself where
appropriate in light of interests that he is not divesting."
Before Trump took office on Jan. 20, Gorelick said her
client would leave his family's company, divest substantial
assets and recuse himself from matters that could affect his
financial interests, Bloomberg reported.
Public interest journalism site ProPublica, citing documents
submitted to the U.S. Office of Government Ethics, reported in
February that Kushner had divested some assets but was keeping
other holdings linked to privately held Kushner Companies.
In authorizing Kushner's appointment, the Justice Department
ruled that Trump, as president, has special hiring authority
that exempts White House positions from laws barring the
president from naming a relative to lead a federal agency.
The Democratic lawmakers called on the White House for
details on what holdings Kushner maintains, a list of issues he
will recuse himself from, and copies of any ethics waivers.
They also raised questions about holdings belonging to his
wife, who established a clothing and jewelry line, and whether
that would lead Kushner to recuse himself from any issues.
Trump himself has said he would maintain ownership of his
global business empire but would hand off control to his two
oldest sons while president.
(Reporting by Susan Heavey; Editing by David Alexander and