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Adviser says Trump can consult Ivanka as private citizen

World | Mar 21, 2017 11:09
US anti-nepotism laws prevent relatives from being appointed to government positions. But the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel recently said the president's "special hiring authority'' allowed him to appoint Ivanka Trump's husband, Jared Kushner, (pictured with Ivanka trump) to the White House West Wing staff.
Jamie Gorelick, an attorney and ethics adviser for Ivanka Trump, noted the office also made clear that the president could consult family members as private citizens, arguing that this is what Ivanka Trump will be doing. 
The first daughter has sought to distance herself from the Trump Organization and her lifestyle brand, which offers shoes, clothing and jewelry. She has removed herself from executive roles and will have a more hands-off approach to the brand _ though she will still get certain information and will have the power to veto new deals if they raise ethical red flags. 
Richard Painter, a University of Minnesota law professor who served as President George W. Bush's chief White House lawyer on ethics, said that Ivanka Trump is effectively working as a White House employee. He said that "means that she, like her husband, has to follow the rules. It's not a huge deal if she stays out of things that affect her financial interests.'' 
Painter said that means Trump should avoid anything to do with foreign trade with countries where her products are made, as well as recuse herself from real estate matters, given Kushner's family real estate business. 
Trump says she will follow ethics rules and some of her financial information will be included in Kushner's official disclosures. She would have to disclose additional financial information if she were in a senior White House role, said Painter. That could include more details about her lifestyle brand, including her contracts and income. 
Attorney Andrew Herman, who has advised lawmakers on ethics issues, said he thought the administration should make her role official. He said: "I think the right way to do that is to make her a special government employee. But that implicates all kind of formal and disclosure issues.''-AP


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