White House Senior Advisor and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner – who has had to update his financial disclosure forms for the government ethics office at least three times – has finally been fined for being late with one of his reports.
The late report concerns Kushner’s investment and role in JCK Cabre LLC, a real estate technology investment company he co-founded with his brother, which has a roster of investors that include the Wall Street bank Goldman Sachs and controversial Democratic activist George Soros, according to research by American Bridge 21st Century.
Kushner is one of 17 top White House employees who are late with their required disclosure reports to the Office of Government Ethics, which are mandatory when an official is paid more than $161,755 annually, the research shows.
The fine for each violation is $200, payable to the U.S. Treasury.
Jared Kushner just got slapped with a fine by the Office of Government Ethics for a late financial disclosure https://t.co/lhDm0lzXsu
— Raw Story (@RawStory) August 11, 2017
Since Kushner and his wife Ivanka Trump disclosed in a March filing that they have assets of at least $740 million, which they are still in the process of liquidating, the fine is roughly one thirty-five thousandth of their minimum net worth.
If Jared and Ivanka have dinner at the BLT Steak House in the Trump International Hotel – which is on a site rented from the U.S. government – in which they personally hold an ownership stake (not as big as dear old dad’s), and they order the Porterhouse steak for two, mashed potatoes, asparagus, cream spinach, and two appetizers tuna tartare and crab cakes, that would cost them more than the $200 for the fine, and that doesn’t even include a good bottle of wine, dessert, or a tip.
Among other current or former White House staff who reported late are Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders (23 days late), director of communications for the Office of Public Liaison Omarosa Manigault (8 days late) and Steven Bannon (34 days late).
It is unclear if any of the others were fined as well. According to an article by McClatchy News, only 3.6 percent of more than 12,000 periodic transaction reports filed by executive branch government employees in 2016 were assessed a fine.
The lax attitude about reporting is seen as symptomatic of the Trump White House.
“President Trump acts like the rules for the rest of us don’t apply to him and now his entire administration is doing the same,” said Harrell Kirstein, spokesman for the Trump War Room at American Bridge 21st Century.
In other words, the richest president ever, surrounded by the richest cabinet in history, and numerous billionaire buddies, cronies, and advisors is laughing off ethics rules. No wonder the head of the government ethics office quit in disgust last month.
When he quit, mild mannered ethics chief Walter Shaub said, “in working with the current administration, it has become clear to me that we need improvements to the existing ethics program.”
How about a billion dollar fine for each violation? That might get their attention. The current system in the land of Trump is little more than a joke.
“What I’m concerned about is that it’s a culture,” said Lawrence Noble, general counsel of the Campaign Legal Center. “They’re not taking it seriously.”
Kushner won’t take a $200 fine seriously? Of course not. That is probably less than he spends monthly on dry cleaning or one of his private club memberships.
Kushner is still in the process of selling off the assets he agreed to shed when he took his government job but is expected to retain at least a stake in JCK Cabre LLC.
According to ABC News, he is also going to hold on to more than 200 assets worth a total of at least $116 million. That should pay for a lot of puny government fines, and some fine dinners at BLT Steakhouse.
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