Vox: Trump’s and Kushner’s Companies Are Doing Business Together. That’s Alarming.


The New York Times reports that the two companies have signed a letter of intent to have the Trump Organization manage at least one of the hotels in the Kushner Companies’ new oceanfront development in Long Branch, New Jersey. That development is poised to potentially benefit from tens of millions of dollars in local and federal government investment. The Trump Organization has also apparently been managing a Kushner Companies-owned hotel in Livingston, New Jersey, since last year.


“If Trump wasn’t doing business with Kushner’s business, would he still be in the job?” Lawrence Noble, the general counsel of the Campaign Legal Center, a nonpartisan watchdog group, asks.


It’s a situation that’s ripe for corruption. Noble says it creates a scenario in which the city “may be willing to cut them a better deal or enter a deal that they wouldn’t otherwise enter into because they want to be on the good side of the president.”

There are possible legal concerns here too: Trump could effectively be receiving a gift from the government, raising the possibility of an emoluments clause violation. While the Constitution’s emoluments clause technically refers to states, Noble says there is a strong legal argument that cities are also covered by that clause.

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