Senior Biden adviser Anita Dunn to divest millions over ethics concerns

Her disclosure shows she and her husband made extensive investments worth between $16.8 million and $48.2 million
Anita Dunn, Washington, D.C., July 22, 2021

Senior White House advisor Anita Dunn will have to divest up to $48.2 million from her portfolio and recuse herself from numerous issues affecting her former clients following the release of her financial disclosure.

Her 93-page financial disclosure shows extensive investments worth between $16.8 million and $48.2 million by her and her husband, attorney Bob Bauer, over the years. 

Bauer served in the Obama White House while Dunn is a founding member of the SKDK consulting firm. 

White House spokesman Chris Meagher told CNBC that Dunn, who was appointed to her White House position in May, will need to divest her holdings and she will be required to recuse herself from issues involving SKDK and her former clients, including AT&T, Lyft, Pfizer and Reddit. In line with the Biden-Harris ethics pledge, Meagher said she will also be prohibited from attending meetings involving her business and previous clients for two years.

Former Obama and Trump White House Ethics Official Walter Shaub told CNBC that Dunn's extensive investments tied to the S&P 500 means she should either divest completely or recuse herself from all issues "affecting any company in the S&P 500 and any other company whose stock is the subject of an option she held."

After reviewing Dunn's financial disclosure last week, Shaub said: "Options are not exempt from the conflict of interest statute under any circumstance. That means that she came into government with a conflict of interest with every company whose stock she wrote an option for and with every company in the referenced indexes."