Jared Kushner’s path to the White House has been cleared by a Justice Department opinion allowing him to work alongside father-in-law President Donald Trump without violating federal anti-nepotism laws. While Kushner’s limited political track record gives little hint about exactly how he’ll approach his new duties, if he does as well as he has as a family business executive, the Republic should be more than safe.
Kushner is the son of East Coast real estate developer Charles Kushner. The younger Kushner took over the family business, Kushner Companies, starting in 2005 when he was just 24. That was when his father began serving a two-year prison term following a conviction for tax evasion, witness tampering and illegal campaign contributions.
Jared visited his father regularly on weekends until Charles Kushner’s release in 2006, after which the elder Kushner returned to the family business. Charles Kushner found a much different enterprise than the one he’d left. Once focused on buying and rehabbing apartment complexes, Kushner Companies under Jared’s leadership had become a major player in New York commercial real estate.
One of Charles Kushner’s first acts when he returned to work was to participate in the signing of a deal Jared negotiated to buy a Manhattan office building, 666 Fifth Ave., for what was then a record price of $1.8 billion. Today the company oversees 20,000 apartments and 13 million square feet of commercial space in New York, New Jersey and other Eastern Seaboard states.
Jared was studying law and planning to become a prosecutor when the vacancy at the family business’s top spot called him away. In addition to proving a quick study at real estate, he also displayed unbending loyalty to his father. Upon his release, the elder Kushner moved into the same floor of the headquarters at 666 Fifth where Jared officed and the two reportedly work closely together.
The Kushners have been open-minded about hiring. For instance, two people the elder Kushner met while in prison were hired by the family business after they were released. And they’ve been similarly flexible where politics were concerned. The elder Kushner has been a significant financial supporter of Democratic candidates in the past, despite the fact that Jared is now a top official in a Republican administration.
Jared also kept it all in the family when he responded to concerns about possible conflicts of interest between his business and his White House job by selling his family business assets. The buyers: His mother and brother.
Jared Kushner promises to bring to the White House a keen awareness of the importance of social media, a sharp business sense and a firm commitment to family. His advice is reportedly much-valued by his father in law. And, to the extent the President listens to what he has to say, family business could benefit significantly from the presence of this business-savvy, intensely loyal family businessman alongside the leader of the Western world.
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