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Ivanka in the White House

Unprecedented Nepotism? 

Ivanka will have an office in the White House, but no specific title has been shared  and she is not "a government employee." Yet, she will have a security clearance and access to classified information. Meanwhile, her husband, Jared Kushner, has been serving as Senior Adviser since the beginning of 45's Term.

45 is potentially at odds with an anti-nepotism measure enacted in 1967 after President John F. Kennedy appointed his brother US Attorney General. The statute states: 

“A public official,” including the president, “may not appoint, employ, promote, advance or advocate for appointment, employment, promotion, or advancement in or to a civilian position in the agency in which he is serving over or which he exercises jurisdiction.”

45's team has contended that the statute refers to government "agencies" and not the White House. They could readily cite the appointment of HRC by President Clinton as the chairwoman of the President's Task Force on National Health Care Reform in 1993. This unpaid appointment was upheld in court

Assuming we all see and acknowledge the nepotism here, let's turn toward the weirdness. The diversity of outlets covering this (Aljazeera to Cosmopolitan) demonstrates hints that this move is raising concerns across the board. In an attempt to spin this abnormal arrangement she told POLITICO, “While there is no modern precedent for an adult child of the president, I will voluntarily follow all of the ethics rules placed on government employees.” What exactly constitutes a "government employee" seems to be up for debate:

“Ivanka has a lot of wiggle room to play around in policy. She may have more of a Hillary Clinton first lady role than that of Laura Bush...You don’t need to be full time or have a salary to be considered a government employee...But the bottom line is that if Ivanka does work outside of the social realm and moves into policy, she becomes an employee.” - Richard Painter, former White House ethics counsel for George W. Bush

Additional Reading



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