The move by the couple is an apparent effort to comply with ethics laws.
Ivanka Trump will resign from management and operational roles at the Trump Organization and her eponymous fashion brand—and from all officer and direct positions at both firms—in an apparent effort to comply with ethics laws. News of the moves came as her husband Jared Kushner accepted a job as senior advisor in President-elect Donald Trump’s White House on Monday, an appointment that could challenge an anti-nepotism law. Ivanka Trump is not expected to immediately take a formal White House role.
Vanity Fair reported Ivanka Trump’s plans to step down on Monday, citing a statement from Kushner’s attorney. Lawyers familiar with the situation confirmed Ivanka Trump’s impending resignations to Fortune‘s partner publication People, along with Kushner’s plans to resign as chief executive of Kushner Companies and as publisher of the New York Observer newspaper. Kushner also plans to divest from some of his holdings, including his 666 Fifth Avenue property in New York, and the venture capital firm Thrive Capital, according to Vanity Fair. Ivanka Trump and Kushner will not sell all of their assets, but will make “substantial divestments” from some of their holdings, lawyers told People.
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It is unclear how Kushner’s role in the White House will hold up against a federal anti-nepotism law that prohibits a president from hiring family members. His lawyer Jamie Gorelick told the Washington Post that the 1967 federal anti-nepotism statute that prohibits public officials from hiring family members in agencies or offices they oversee does not apply to the White House. Gorelick also said Monday that Kushner was prepared to step down from his business and divest assets before taking a role in the administration.
Donald Trump’s vast business ties—and those of his extended family—have raised myriad questions about conflicts of interest as he prepares to assume his role in the Oval Office. Some fear that the Trump family could use the power of the White House to benefit its extensive commercial interests.
Ivanka Trump faced fierce criticism on this front shortly after Election Day, when her jewelry brand used her appearance on 60 Minutes as an opportunity to sell the items she wore in the segment. The company later apologized. A few days later, Ivanka Trump started to distance herself from her fashion brand, disengaging from its social media channels.
Ivanka Trump and Kushner’s plans to break business ties stand in stark contrast to President-elect Donald Trump’s failure so far to do the same. Donald Trump has not yet offered a comprehensive solution to the conflicts of interest posed by his businesses and his impending presidency. He was supposed to provide details at a press conference last month, but it was canceled at the last minute. There is another one scheduled for Wednesday—his first in more than 150 days—at which Trump could lay out a plan.