Obama ethics czar on Ivanka's new White House job: 'Nepotism statute' applies
The lawyer who oversaw ethics for the Obama administration has indicated that he thinks Ivanka Trump's new White House role does violate nepotism rules.
During a recent appearance on CNN, Norman Eisen told Anderson Cooper, "My view, and it's a bipartisan view—Professor [Richard] Painter, the Bush ethics czar agrees with me—is that the nepotism statute does apply."
Eisen added, "In both the Bush and Obama administration, for decades, the Justice Department held yes, the nepotism statute does applies to the White House office."
However, he admitted, "It's a murky area....President Trump got an opinion from the Justice Department that the nepotism statute doesn't apply to his White House. We disagree with that opinion, but we recognize that reasonable minds can disagree."
Late last year, Eisen and Painter wrote an op-ed in the New York Times speculating that the president could try to skirt the anti-nepotism law, enacted in 1967, by placing family members in informal roles at the White House.
In fact, Ivanka Trump had recently indicated that she was planning to become an informal adviser to her father, which prompted critics to voice their concerns about potential ethics problems.
But CNN is reporting that she has instead decided to become a government employee, making her subject to laws governing all federal workers.