Jared Kushner, a senior advisor to President Donald Trump, is selling at a huge profit his stake in Cadre, a real estate startup that invests in Opportunity Zones, an incentive Kushner pushed to have included in the Republican tax overhaul two years ago.
That might not be the end of the story. If Trump, Kushner’s father-in-law, decides to battle the rise of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden with renewed attacks aimed at Hunter Biden, who served on the board of Ukrainian energy company Burisma, it may put the company in the news again.
Tim O’Brien, an adviser to the now-suspended presidential campaign of Michael Bloomberg, one of the richest people in the world, is promising a “scorched-earth” approach to calling out conflicts of interest among Trump’s children. Bloomberg has pledged to put his wealth, estimated by Forbes at about $54 billion, into defeating Trump.
Whether that effort is aimed at Kushner and Trump’s adult children depends on whether Trump decides to go after Biden’s son, O’Brien said in an MSNBC interview on Sunday.
Of course, Trump got impeached for doing exactly that last year, allegedly attempting to involve the Ukrainian government.
“I think it’s an important moment for the American people to be woke about how rampant the financial conflicts of interest are among Trump’s children and the president himself,” O’Brien told anchor Joy Reid.
Cadre was among the first real estate funds to take advantage of the tax breaks its co-founder, Kushner, pushed for while working in the White House. Cadre has been investing in Opportunity Zones since 2018, Dan Rosenbloom, Cadre’s managing director of investments, and Charlie Anastasi, a Cadre vice president, said in a presentation last year.
In the last three years, the value of Kushner’s stake in the company he co-founded in 2014 has more than doubled.
Kushner initially failed to disclose his stake in Cadre. Six months after Trump’s inauguration, Kushner amended his disclosure form to add the company, putting the value of his holding at $5 million to $25 million. His most recent disclosure put the value at between $25 million to $50 million.
“If the Republicans really want to make an issue out of Hunter Biden, which is very low-hanging fruit that I don’t think most Democratic voters care about anyway, there is going to be a scorched earth response aimed at all of the Trump children that is unlike anything they’ve experienced thus far in the media,” O’Brien said.
Abbe Lowell, a lawyer for Kushner, explained the divestment as a way for Kushner to avoid future conflicts of interest, and said Kushner has complied with all ethics requirements.
“When Cadre, with which Mr. Kushner has not been involved for over three years, decided to pursue opportunities that could unknowingly to Mr. Kushner become future conflicts, he took the guidance of White House counsel and the Office of Government Ethics and put in place a blind divestment process,” Lowell told Bloomberg News. “This is the latest example of how seriously he takes this responsibility.”
Other than being a passive shareholder, Kushner has had no role in the company since he joined the White House, Alan Fleischmann, a spokesman for Cadre, told Bloomberg News.