Ethics Office Puts Ivanka Trump On Ethical Short Leash

Ethics Office Puts Ivanka Trump On Ethical Short Leash
Ivanka Trump, daughter of Republican Presidential Nominee Donald J. Trump, takes the stage during the final day of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Thursday, July 21, 2016. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

First came the office next to her dad, government-issued communication devices, and the process had kicked in to get her top security clearance.

Her role was being downplayed as “unofficial,” but there were still some concerns about Ivanka Trump’s position in her dad’s administration. With that in mind, Democratic Senators Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) and Tom Carper (Del.) inquired of the Office of Government Ethics about what rules she might be subject to. Because her role was unpaid, there was some confusion as to what rules applied to her and how she might misuse the office.

Specifically, they wanted to know how the Ethics Office intended to keep a watch on any potential violations by Ivanka Trump or her husband, senior adviser Jared Kushner.

From Politico:

OGE Director Walter Shaub Jr. said in his reply, which was dated April 25 but released Monday by the senators, that Ivanka Trump must file disclosures within 30 days of her appointment about her financial interests and those of husband Jared Kushner and their children. The White House can grant two extensions up to 45 days each. She must also file periodic transaction reports, an annual financial disclosure report and a termination disclosure report.

Shaub said conflict of interest rules bar senior White House appointees “from participating personally and substantially in particular matters directly and predictably affecting their financial interests.” Staff members generally avoid those issues by recusing themselves from certain issues, Shaub said. OGE will review Trump’s disclosures after the White House files them.

That might be a problem.

There have been several issues with Ivanka Trump expanding her brand since her dad took office and she and her husband became major players behind the scenes.

“After the report is revised, OGE seeks information about how the White House is addressing any potential conflicts of interest identified during the review process,” Shaub said. “OGE then makes a determination regarding apparent compliance with financial disclosure and conflict of interest rules and either certifies or declines to certify the financial disclosure report.”

So the guidelines are set, and Ivanka Trump will have to work through the same ethical maze as the president.

That’s the problem when there are so many other entanglements outside of government service.


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