Former White House ethics lawyer to President Obama Norman Eisen said Wednesday that he and the former ethics lawyer to President George W. Bush see Ivanka Trump’s role as an adviser to President Trump as a violation of nepotism laws.
“My view… is that the nepotism statue does apply to the White House,” Eisen said on CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360” of the announcement that Ivanka Trump would receive an official role in the Trump administration. “For decades the Justice Department held ‘yes’ the nepotism statue applies to the White House.”
Eisen conceded that the “reasonable minds can disagree” on whether the statue should apply.
“President Trump got an opinion from the Justice Department that the nepotism statute doesn’t apply to his White House,” Eisen continued. “We don’t agree with that opinion.”
Earlier Wednesday, it was reported that Ivanka would be an official government employee and serve in the White House as an unpaid senior adviser to her father. She currently has a West Wing office, but initially said she’d work with in her father’s administration in an informal advising capacity.
She appears to have changed her plans after critics pointed out that an informal role would allow her to avoid certain ethics rules and required disclosures that come with serving in the government.
The role has caused some critics to raise the possibility that the role is in violation of the nepotism law passed in 1967, which says no public official, from the president down to a low-level manager at a federal agency, may hire or promote a relative. (The Hill)