Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner Hit with Lawsuit over Financial Disclosure

U.S. Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner attend a ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House marking the September 11 attacks September 11, 2017 in Washington, DC. Today marks the 16th anniversary of the attacks that killed almost 3,000 people and wounded another 6,000. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Win McNamee/Getty Images

Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner were slapped with a lawsuit Sunday that alleges they made serious omissions on their public disclosure forms — the latest allegations that the couple has failed to be fully transparent to the public about their financial interests.

Politico reports that Trump and Kushner have allegedly failed to identify assets owned by as many as 30 investment funds in which they had stakes and that they did not declare the income from two “investment vehicles.” The suit, filed by Washington lawyer Jeffrey Lovitky, demands they amend their disclosure reports and disclose “the identity of the underlying holdings” of those vehicles.

Lovitky also reportedly filed a similar suit against President Trump in March, claiming his financial disclosure form was insufficient and that he did not give enough detail on that form about his personal liability for various debts. That case is still pending, the outlet reports.

As part of its argument, the suit filed Sunday claims that Kushner’s disclosure form declines to give further information, citing a “pre-existing confidentiality agreement.” But the suit claims that the Ethics in Government Act does not allow such a lack of disclosure.

Lovitky’s suit also argues that the public has a right to know whether two top Trump administration officials are benefiting from their White House roles:

The public has a right to know whether and to what extent Defendants may financially benefit from their activities as public officials. The public has a right to know whether Defendants’ business relationships, whether while in office or immediately prior to assumption of their official duties, could reasonably be expected to influence their activities as officers of the United States government.

Additionally, the suit also claims there is an ethical responsibility for top Trump officials to set an example for other members of government:

Further, the ethical example must be established at the highest levels of any organization. If the individuals at the most senior levels of government fail to comply with the provisions of the [Ethics in Government Act], nothing more can be expected from the thousands of other officials at the lower levels of government.

Despite the lengthy lawsuit, a White House spokesman told Politico the lawsuit was “frivolous.”

“Mr. Kushner’s 278e was closely reviewed by the nonpartisan Office of Government Ethics, which certified his compliance with federal law,” the spokesman said. “Mr. Kushner and his representatives also maintain ongoing communications with the Office of Government Ethics to ensure his disclosures remain in compliance.”

Kushner and Ms. Trump have both been fined for late filings, and Kushner, in particular, has been under increasing scrutiny for his foreign contacts and his lack of transparency.

Kushner was criticized last week for not responding to a letter from 13 Democrats expressing concerns about reports that 666 Fifth Avenue — a purchase made by his family real-estate business — is in need of “massive cash bailouts” from foreign nationals.

The Democrats asked, “Since November 8, 2016, did you have any discussions with any foreign nationals or entities in Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, China, Israel, France or any other foreign country (excluding Russia) about 666 Fifth Avenue?”

It also asked if he did anything “related to helping finance, purchase, or assist with the debt” on the property.

One of the Democrats, Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA), issued a statement last week expressing displeasure with Kushner’s failure to respond: “These are straightforward questions, but we still haven’t received an answer. What is Mr. Kushner hiding?”

Adam Shaw is a Breitbart News politics reporter based in New York. Follow Adam on Twitter: @AdamShawNY.


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