Kushner took a stricter approach on ethics than Trump, emails show

The Trump administration has struggled with ethics vetting for Cabinet nominees and faced criticism for the president's decision to remain invested in his business empire. When Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump's son-in-law, prepared to enter the White House, however, the administration sought to do it by the book.

That is the picture established by new emails, obtained by MSNBC, showing how Kushner's lawyers worked on a divestment plan to avoid conflicts by conferring with the Office of Government Ethics. That is the same office that Trump aides iced out during the transition period and that has clashed with the president over his decision not to divest from the Trump Organization.

Jared Kushner through the years

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Jared Kushner through the years
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Jared Kushner through the years
UNITED STATES - AUGUST 08: Jared Kushner attends the New York premiere of 'Factotum' at the IFC Center Theater. (Photo by Richard Corkery/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
NEW YORK CITY, NY - JUNE 16: Laura Englander and Jared Kushner attend The Partnership for Public Service's Third Annual Black Tie Gala Honoring John McCain with 'The Theodore Roosevelt Award for the Advancement of Public Service' at Waldorf-Astoria on June 16, 2005 in New York City. (Photo by Jimi Celeste/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
Jared Kushner during Miss Potter New York Premiere - Inside Arrivals at DGA Theater in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Lawrence Lucier/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK CITY, NY - MAY 8: Mort Zuckerman and Jared Kushner attend TIME Magazine's 100 Most Influential People 2007 at Jazz at Lincoln Center on May 8, 2007 in New York City. (Photo by PATRICK MCMULLAN/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
NEW YORK CITY, NY - JUNE 14: (L-R) Jerry Della Famina, Matthew Weiner and Jared Kushner attend AMC Hosts a Special Preview and Discussion of Their Provocative New Series 'MAD MEN' at Michael's on June 14, 2007 in New York City. (Photo by JIMI CELESTE/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
Michael Moore and Jared Kushner during 'Sicko' New York City Premiere - Reception at Ziegfeld Theater in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/WireImage for The Weinstein Company)
NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 24: Owner of the New York Observer Jared Kushner arrives at The Metropolitan Opera's Opening Night at Lincoln Center September 24, 2007 in New York City. (Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images for Metropolitan Opera)
NEW YORK CITY, NY - SEPTEMBER 9: (L-R) Ivanka Trump, Narciso Rodriguez and Jared Kushner attend Afterparty for the NARCISO RODRIGUEZ Spring/Summer 2008 Collection at Gramercy Park Hotel on September 9, 2007 in New York City. (Photo by JOE SCHILDHORN/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
NEW YORK CITY, NY - MARCH 13: vanka Trump (in Elie Saab and Ivanka Trump Fine Jewelry) and Jared Kushner attend The Young Fellows of The Frick Collection, with ELIE SAAB and IVANKA TRUMP Fine Jewelry present a gala 'Un Ballo in Maschera' at The Frick Collection on March 13, 2008 in New York City. (Photo by DAVID X PRUTTING/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
BEDMINSTER, NJ - OCTOBER, 25: In this handout image provided by Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump (R) and Jared Kushner (L) attend their wedding at Trump National Golf Club on October 25, 2009 in Bedminster, New Jersey. (Photo Brian Marcus/Fred Marcus Photography via Getty Images)
�2010 RAMEY PHOTO August 19, 2010 - Porto Cervo - Sardinia Ivanka Trump,the daughter of Ivana and Donald Trump, is spending a few days on holiday with her husband Jared Kushner. CPE/MB (Photo by Philip Ramey/Corbis via Getty Images)
Jared Kushner, Owner of New York Observer and Kai Madison Trump attend the 4th annual Eric Trump Foundation Golf Invitational at the Trump National Golf Club Westchester on September 14, 2010 in Briarcliff Manor, New York.
NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 18: Jared Kushner speaks at the FINCA 25th Anniversary Creating Pathways Out of Poverty event at Capitale Bowery on November 18, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Joe Corrigan/Getty Images for FINCA)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 09: Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump attend the COMEDY CENTRAL Roast of Donald Trump at the Hammerstein Ballroom on March 9, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 17: Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump attend the Vanity Fair Party during the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival at the State Supreme Courthouse on April 17, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
DORAL, FL - MARCH 07: Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump and Eric Trump attend the Carolina Herrera Fashion Show with GREY GOOSE Vodka at the Cadillac Championship at Trump National Doral on March 7, 2014 in Doral, Florida. (Photo by John Parra/Getty Images for GREY GOOSE)
BRIARCLIFF MANOR, NY - SEPTEMBER 15: Lara Yunaska and Jared Kushner attend The Eric Trump 8th Annual Golf Tournament at Trump National Golf Club Westchester on September 15, 2014 in Briarcliff Manor, New York. (Photo by Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 04: Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump attend the 'China: Through The Looking Glass' Costume Institute Benefit Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 4, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 26: Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner are seen on March 26, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Tal Rubin/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11: Ivanka Trump and husband Jared Kushner attend the men's final between Novack Djokovic of Serbia and Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland at Arthur Ashe Stadium on day 14 of the 2016 US Open at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 11, 2016 in the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Jean Catuffe/GC Images)
Ivanka Trump (L) and husband Jared Kushner are seen at a polling station in a school during the 2016 presidential elections on November 8, 2016 in New York. / AFP / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
(FromL) Ivanka Trump, her husband Jared Kushner and Tiffany Trump smile as Republican presidential elect Donald Trump speaks during election night at the New York Hilton Midtown in New York on November 9, 2016. Trump stunned America and the world Wednesday, riding a wave of populist resentment to defeat Hillary Clinton in the race to become the 45th president of the United States. / AFP / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 18: Jared Kushner, the son-in-law of President-elect Donald Trump, walks through the lobby of Trump Tower with his wife Ivanka on November 18, 2016 in New York City. President-elect Trump and his transition team are in the process of filling cabinet and other high level positions for the new administration. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 7: Jared Kushner sits in Vice President-elect Mike Pence's car outside of Trump Tower, December 7, 2016 in New York City. President-elect Donald Trump and his transition team are in the process of filling cabinet and other high level positions for the new administration. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
White House senior advisor Jared Kushner (2nd L) smiles at his wife Ivanka Trump as she is mentioned by Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during his remarks at the Yad Vashem holocaust memorial in Jerusalem May 23, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
White House senior advisor Jared Kushner arrives to join U.S. President Donald Trump and the rest of the U.S. delegation to meet with Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud at the Royal Court in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia May 20, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Ivanka Trump, daughter of US President Donald Trump, her husband Jared Kushner, senior adviser to Trump step off Air Force One upon arrival at Rome's Fiumicino Airport on May 23, 2017. Donald Trump arrived in Rome for a high-profile meeting with Pope Francis in what was his first official trip to Europe since becoming US President. / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Jared Kushner is seen at the Royal Court after US President Donald Trump received the Order of Abdulaziz al-Saud medal in Riyadh on May 20, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
BAGHDAD, IRAQ - APRIL 03: In this handout provided by the Department of Defense (DoD), Jared Kushner, Senior Advisor to President Donald J. Trump, speaks with Lt. Gen. Stephen J. Townsend, commander, Combined Joint Task Force -- Operation Inherent Resolve, during a helo ride aboard a CH-47 over Baghdad, Iraq, April 3, 2017. (Photo by Dominique A. Pineiro/DoD via Getty Images)
QAYYARAH WEST, IRAQ - APRIL 04: In this handout provided by the Department of Defense (DoD), Jared Kushner, Senior Advisor to President Donald J. Trump meets with Service Members at a forward operating base near Qayyarah West in Iraq, April 4, 2017. (Photo by Dominique A. Pineiro/DoD via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 17: U.S. President Donald Trump (C) walks along the West Wing colonnade with his daughter Ivanka Trump (L) and his son-in-law and Senior Advisor to the President for Strategic Planning Jared Kushner before he departs the White House March 17, 2017 in Washington, DC. The first family is scheduled to spend the weekend at their Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Senior Advisor to the President, Jared Kushner (L), walks with his wife Ivanka Trump to board Marine One at the White House in Washington, DC, on March 3, 2017. The two are travelling with US President Donald Trump to Florida. / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
U.S. President Donald Trump, center, speaks while Jared Kushner, senior White House advisor, left, and Kenneth Frazier, chairman and chief executive officer of Merck & Co., listen during a meeting with manufacturing executives in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017. Trump told some of America's most prominent corporate executives that he intends to put them to work restoring manufacturing jobs and U.S. dominance in trade. Photographer: Olivier Douliery/Bloomberg via Getty Images
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 30: Jared Kushner, senior adviser to President Donald Trump, listens during a meeting with small business leaders in the Roosevelt room at the White House in Washington, DC on Monday, Jan. 30, 2017. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner dance at the Liberty Ball at the Washington DC Convention Center following Donald Trump's inauguration as the 45th President of the United States, in Washington, DC, on January 20, 2017. / AFP / JIM WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 09: Ianka Trump (R), Jared Kushner, White House senior advisor to the president for strategic planning and son-in-law to President Donald Trump, and two of their children greet members of the armed forces and their families during an event celebrating National Military Appreciation Month and National Military Spouse Appreciation Day in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building May 9, 2017 in Washington, DC. Vice President Mike Pence hosted about 160 spouses and children of the active duty U.S. military members. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
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The emails indicate a flurry of preparation in late December and January — before Kushner was appointed senior White House adviser and while questions still swirled about whether a federal anti-nepotism law would bar him from serving. (The Justice Department stated that a loophole allowed him to serve as an adviser.) Kushner's lawyers, including former Clinton administration official Jamie Gorelick, consulted the ethics office on how to create a "conservative" and "workable" approach to minimize potential conflicts.

His team also warned the ethics office about a New York Times report on Kushner's meeting with Chinese investors after the election, proposing that their ethics plan would "mitigate sources of conflict," an apparent reference to the article.

Walter Shaub, the ethics office director who publicly criticized Trump and drew the ire of house Republicans, appeared heartened by the plans submitted by Kushner's team.

More from NBC News: See the Full Redacted Emails Obtained by MSNBC

It is a marked contrast from his dealings with the Trump transition team about Cabinet nominees, where private emails show him lamenting that communication had "broken down" and the transition team's neglect of ethics vetting was "unprecedented."

With Kushner, the ethics office was engaged, collaborating on statements to the press, reviewing paperwork showing his "100% divestment" from several businesses, and providing extra advice beyond the letter of the law.

"Ethics issues arise unexpectedly," Shaub wrote Kushner's team, "and they don't come with the label 'Caution! I'm an ethics issue.'"

RELATED: Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner together

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Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner together
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Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner together
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 19: Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner are seen walking in Midtown on January 19, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Raymond Hall/GC Images)
Ivanka Trump (L) and husband Jared Kushner are seen at a polling station in a school during the 2016 presidential elections on November 8, 2016 in New York. / AFP / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
(FromL) Ivanka Trump, her husband Jared Kushner and Tiffany Trump smile as Republican presidential elect Donald Trump speaks during election night at the New York Hilton Midtown in New York on November 9, 2016. Trump stunned America and the world Wednesday, riding a wave of populist resentment to defeat Hillary Clinton in the race to become the 45th president of the United States. / AFP / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 18: Jared Kushner, the son-in-law of President-elect Donald Trump, walks through the lobby of Trump Tower with his wife Ivanka on November 18, 2016 in New York City. President-elect Trump and his transition team are in the process of filling cabinet and other high level positions for the new administration. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11: Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump seen at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 11, 2016 in the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Team GT/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 02: Jared Kushner (L) and Ivanka Trump attend the 'Manus x Machina: Fashion In An Age Of Technology' Costume Institute Gala at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 2, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 16: Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner are seen on April 16, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Team GT/GC Images)
BRIARCLIFF MANOR, NY - SEPTEMBER 21: Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump attends the 9th Annual Eric Trump Foundation golf invitational at Trump National Golf Club Westchester on September 21, 2015 in Briarcliff Manor City. (Photo by Bobby Bank/WireImage)
BRIARCLIFF MANOR, NY - SEPTEMBER 21: Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump attend the 9th Annual Eric Trump Foundation Golf Invitational Auction & Dinner at Trump National Golf Club Westchester on September 21, 2015 in Briarcliff Manor, New York. (Photo by Grant Lamos IV/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 07: Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump attend the 2015 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 7, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Walter McBride/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 04: Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump attend the 'China: Through The Looking Glass' Costume Institute Benefit Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 4, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 25: Jared Kushner (L) and Ivanka Trump attend the 101st Annual White House Correspondents' Association Dinner at the Washington Hilton on April 25, 2015 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mark Sagliocco/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - APRIL 14: Jared Kushner & Ivanka Trump at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival Vanity Fair Party held at the State Supreme Courthouse on April 14, 2015 in New York City. PHOTOGRAPH BY Photo Image Press / Barcroft Media (Photo credit should read Photo Image Press / Barcroft Med via Getty Images)
BRIARCLIFF MANOR, NY - SEPTEMBER 15: Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump attends the 8th Annual Eric Trump Golf Tournament at Trump National Golf Club Westchester on September 15, 2014 in Briarcliff Manor, New York. (Photo by Bobby Bank/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 11: Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner are seen on February 11, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by XPX/Star Max/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 23: Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump attend the New York City Ballet 2014 Fall Gala at the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center on September 23, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Mark Sagliocco/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 07: Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner attend the Joan Rivers memorial service at Temple Emanu-El on September 7, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Kris Connor/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 08: Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump are seen on the streets of New York�on September 8, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by John Parra/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 06: Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump attend the Costume Institute Gala for the 'PUNK: Chaos to Couture' exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 6, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Karwai Tang/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 05: Jared Kushner (L) and Ivanka Trump attend the 'Charles James: Beyond Fashion' Costume Institute Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 5, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 18: Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump attend the Turkish Society Annual Dinner Gala at The Plaza Hotel on October 18, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 07: Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump attend the 'Schiaparelli And Prada: Impossible Conversations' Costume Institute Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 7, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images)
Ivanka Trump & Jared Kushner attending the 98th Annual White House Correspondents' Association Dinner at the Washington Hilton on April 28, 2012 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Walter McBride/Corbis via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 12: Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump attend Ivanka Trump's Fine Jewelry Boutique opening at on December 12, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 17: Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump attend the Vanity Fair Party during the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival at the State Supreme Courthouse on April 17, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 14: Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump attend the 8th Annual CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Awards at the Skylight SOHO on November 14, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Charles Eshelman/WireImage)
NEW YORK CITY, NY - SEPTEMBER 20: Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump attend the 2011 New Yorkers for Children Fall Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on September 20, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Jason Binn/WireImage)
BRIARCLIFF MANOR, NY - SEPTEMBER 13: Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump attends the 5th annual Eric Trump Foundation Golf Invitational at the Trump National Golf Club Westchester on September 13, 2011 in Briarcliff Manor, New York. (Photo by Bobby Bank/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 13: Ivanka Trump (R) and Jared Kushner attend the Cinema Society with Ivanka Trump Jewelry & Diane Von Furstenberg screening of 'Snow Flower And The Secret Fan' at the Tribeca Grand Hotel on July 13, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
Ivanka Trump (R) and husband Jared Kushner attend the Comedy Central Roast of Donald Trump at the Hammerstein Ballroom on March 9, 2011 in New York City.
Jared Kushner (L) and Ivanka Trump attend the 2010 Library Lions Benefit at The New York Public Library on November 1, 2010 in New York City.
Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner attend the 4th annual Eric Trump Foundation Golf Invitational at the Trump National Golf Club Westchester on September 14, 2010 in Briarcliff Manor, New York.
NEW YORK - JUNE 27: Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner attend the 3rd annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic on Governors Island on June 27, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Joe Kohen/WireImage)
NEW YORK - MAY 03: Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump attend the Metropolitan Museum of Art's 2010 Costume Institute Ball at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 3, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/WireImage for Vogue)
NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 04: Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner attend Game Six of the 2009 MLB World Series between the New York Yankees and the Philadelphia Phillies at Yankee Stadium on November 4, 2009 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
BEDMINSTER, NJ - OCTOBER, 25: In this handout image provided by Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump (R) and Jared Kushner (L) attend their wedding at Trump National Golf Club on October 25, 2009 in Bedminster, New Jersey. (Photo Brian Marcus/Fred Marcus Photography via Getty Images)
NEW YORK CITY, NY - MARCH 13: vanka Trump (in Elie Saab and Ivanka Trump Fine Jewelry) and Jared Kushner attend The Young Fellows of The Frick Collection, with ELIE SAAB and IVANKA TRUMP Fine Jewelry present a gala 'Un Ballo in Maschera' at The Frick Collection on March 13, 2008 in New York City. (Photo by DAVID X PRUTTING/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
NEW YORK CITY, NY - AUGUST 23: Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump attend Men's Vogue Dinner in Honor of Roger Federer at Wakiya on August 23, 2007 in New York City. (Photo by BILLY FARRELL/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
NEW YORK CITY, NY - MARCH 11: Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump attend NEW YORK CITY POLICE FOUNDATION 30th Annual Gala at Waldorf Astoria on March 11, 2008 in New York City. (Photo by NEIL RASMUS/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
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Citing the "fast-paced work environment" of the White House, Shaub suggested new ethics dilemmas can be hard to tackle if appointees don't meet the "attention span of a White House Counsel's office with a thousand other things to do."

To that end, he advised that Kushner's lawyers put him "two steps back from the line between what is permissible and what is not," which "will protect" him better than getting close to the line.

"The process was good here," said Norm Eisen, an ethics expert who is suing the Trump administration.

Eisen reviewed the emails, which were obtained through a Freedom of Information request from MSNBC and The James Madison Project, represented by the law office of Mark S. Zaid.

More from NBC News: Officials Warned Trump Against 'Unprecedented' Plan to Staff Cabinet Without Ethics Vetting

"While there are substantial redactions, it appears that Mr. Kushner and his wife, Ivanka Trump, had holdings that created the conflicts for Mr. Kushner in doing his job," said Eisen, a former Obama official, noting that Ivanka Trump's holdings are "imputed to him under federal law."

"They have divested themselves of those holdings," Eisen said, a "sensible" approach.

Kathleen Clark, an ethics expert at Washington University Law School, agreed there was a "striking contrast" between the approach of Kushner and other Trump officials.

"Although the Trump transition team apparently was not particularly cooperative with the Office of Government Ethics," she said, "Kushner and his lawyers seem to have taken a different approach."

Clark noted that Kushner might have faced an "uphill battle" on the anti-nepotism law, which bans family members from most federal jobs.

"I think that Kushner's lawyers may have settled on a strategy where they wanted to reassure the government that they would put out any and all fires in connection with financial conflicts," she said, building credibility "for getting a favorable Justice Department opinion on the anti-nepotism statute."

"Instead of fighting on two fronts," she suggested, "they only had to fight on one."

Eisen also emphasized that Kushner's effort is different than that of his boss and father-in-law.

"The member of this administration with the most profound conflicts did neither of the two proper and smart things his son-in-law did," Eisen said, arguing that by maintaining his business holdings, the president is violating a bipartisan tradition and the Constitution.

The administration argues that its conflicts plan for the president avoids any legal violations, and donates foreign government profits to the U.S. Treasury in an abundance of caution.

"It is shocking that the father-in-law did not choose to follow his son in law's example," Eisen added, "now the courts will have their say."

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