Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross did not fully divest himself and his family members from his company holdings upon entering the Trump administration, a Forbes investigation has found. According to the report, Ross held on to his stakes in companies co-owned by the Chinese government, a firm linked to Vladimir Putin’s inner circle, and a Cyprus bank caught up in the Robert Mueller investigation for most of 2017. Forbes reports that Ross’ divestiture moves allowed his family to continue to have an interest in these holdings while he dealt with China and Russia in his official role, even while knowing that his family’s fortunes were linked to the countries. Although the arrangements appear to be legal, Forbes says Ross may have broken the law by submitting a sworn statement to officials in November 2017 that said he divested of everything he promised he would. His spokesperson insisted: “The secretary did not lie,” adding that Ross has filed amended paperwork that is under review by the Office of Government Ethics and that he’s only promised to fully divest from the Bank of Cyprus.
Correction: Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross did not fully divest himself from his company holdings for most of 2017. A previous version of this report incorrectly stated Ross promised to divest all of his company holdings as he entered government. A spokesman said Ross only promised to fully divest from the Bank of Cyprus.