Beyer Introduces JARED Act To Tighten Ethics Standards For Presidential Appointees
Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) yesterday introduced the Jumpstarting Accountability Relating to Ethical Disclosures (JARED) Act to tighten ethical standards for presidential appointees. The bill would prohibit former “political appointees from investing in or serving in a managerial role in an investment fund in which a foreign principal owns shares” within four years of their departure from federal government service, under certain conditions.
Jared Kushner, former President Trump’s son-in-law and White House senior adviser, reportedly secured a $2 billion investment from a fund led by the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. This investment went to Mr. Kushner’s newly formed private equity firm, Affinity Partners, just six months after his departure from the White House. Kushner reportedly enjoyed a close relationship with bin Salman while he was a senior adviser to former President Trump, defending him from accountability for the brutal 2018 murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and advocating for increased arms deals with Saudi Arabia.
“The exchange of policy concessions and large sums of money between Mohammed bin Salman and Jared Kushner appears extremely corrupt on its face and cries out for ethics reform. The reported Saudi investment of billions in a Kushner-led investment fund so soon after Kushner advised the President to take heavily pro-Saudi stances looks awfully like a kickback. My bill would prevent this from happening again and help ensure that presidential appointees are held to a higher ethical standard,” said Rep. Beyer.
Currently, there are no laws or rules that constrain investment activities, including by foreign governments, of former administration officials after leaving the White House. The Jumpstarting Accountability Relating to Ethical Disclosures (JARED) Act would ban a former presidential political appointee from having any investment or management role with an investment fund in which a foreign government is invested for four years after any conversation between the former appointee and an official of that foreign government. The conversation would have to involve prospective business dealings or investments involving the former appointee while they were a government appointee.
Text of the bill is available here.