President-elect Donald Trump is hiring his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, as a senior adviser in the West Wing, giving him a sweeping portfolio and status that will make him one of the most influential figures in the administration.
Like his father-in-law, Kushner has no previous experience in government. The potential for a White House role raised ethical questions due to anti-nepotism laws and Kushner’s chief executive role at Kushner Companies, a real estate development firm.
However, an existing law bars presidents from picking relatives for agencies. Kushner, 35, will need to argue that the federal anti-nepotism law does not apply to him. The law, enacted in 1967 after John F Kennedy appointed his brother as attorney general, prohibits any federal official from hiring family members to an agency or office which he or she leads.
Kushner is an American businessman and investor. He is principal owner of the real estate holding and development company Kushner Companies and Observer Media, publisher of the weekly New York Observer.
Kushner Companies has invested billions in real estate around the US in the last decade, and relies heavily on foreign investment and lenders.
Experts have said that even should Kushner place holdings in a blind trust, he would still test ethics laws. Kushner will be required to make some financial disclosures, and would continuously test the limits of the law in the White House.