Although Jared Kushner relinquished control of his family’s real estate business in January in order to eliminate conflicts of interest in his new role as White House adviser to his father-in-law, President Donald Trump, Bloomberg staffer Joe Light reports that potential conflicts are still out there.
Kushner Cos. has apartment buildings with more than $500 million in government-backed mortgages financed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Light writes. That could put officials at those agencies in an awkward spot: If Kushner Cos. applies for a new loan, or wants to refinance, would Freddie turn them down? If Kushner Cos. fails to comply with the terms of a loan, will Fannie seek to foreclose on a property owned by the president’s in-laws?
“It clearly represents a conflict-of-interest because the government or the president can take actions that would benefit his family,” said David Reiss, a professor at Brooklyn Law School who has written about issues related to Fannie and Freddie.
Jared’s new position at the White House won’t have any effect on his family’s business, the company says. "The election has not changed Kushner Companies’ relationship with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac," said Kushner Cos. spokesman James Yolles. "And we will respond to policy changes like any other private company in the marketplace."