The Real Deal New York

Kushner is looking into the legality of taking White House gig

As Trump's son-in-law, nepotism rules may get in the way

November 18, 2016 12:00PM

The White House and Jared Kushner

The White House and Jared Kushner

Jared Kushner is testing the legal waters of joining his father-in-law at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

The core issue is whether such a move would violate federal nepotism rules, which prevent public officials from hiring family members. Kushner TRData LogoTINY, who has consulted at least one lawyer on the matter, believes that if he places his real estate holdings and the New York Observer into a blind trust, those rules won’t apply, the New York Times reported.

But some legal experts aren’t so sure.

“You need to be able to say no. You need to be able to hold the line,” Norman Eisen, who previously served as President Obama’s ethics counsel, told the Times. “You need to be able to threaten to resign, and you need to be able to actually resign. You can’t resign from being somebody’s son-in-law.”

For his part, President-elect Trump has been urging Kushner to join him, as have chief strategist Stephen Bannon, and chief of staff Reince Priebus. But Kushner’s already factored into Trump’s transition team. He reportedly helped push for the removal of Gov. Chris Christie as head of the team, as well as personnel tapped by Christie. His beef with the New Jersey governor dates back to 2005, when Christie was U.S Attorney and pushed for the conviction of Kushner’s father, Charles Kushner. Those involved in the transition team have denied that this played any role in Christie’s removal, saying it was at Bannon’s suggestion. [NYT] — Kathryn Brenzel

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