Ivanka Trump is getting security clearance and an office in the White House
Ivanka Trump is getting her own office in the White House and will soon get security clearance, all despite not actually being an official member of the Trump administration. Because if there’s one thing this administration needs, it’s yet another storm of people wondering about ethics violations.
Ivanka’s husband, Jared Kushner, serves as a top adviser to President Trump, and his appointment raised questions about nepotism laws seeing as he is the president’s son-in-law. The Justice Department, however, decided those rules did not apply to Kushner’s position as he was not being appointed to any government agency. Ivanka, meanwhile, isn’t being appointed to anything at all. She’s still an informal advisor, and soon she’ll have security clearance while technically not being bound by any ethics laws.
Ivanka’s attorney, Jamie Gorelick, told Politico that she still plans on following all ethics guidelines that apply to government employees. “Our view is that the conservative approach is for Ivanka to voluntarily comply with the rules that would apply if she were a government employee, even though she is not,” Gorelick said.
Of course, there’s nothing binding about that. Ivanka could very easily just decide one day to ignore those guidelines and it wouldn’t matter because she’s technically not part of the administration. This did not go unnoticed by others.
“They’re not saying she’s going to voluntarily subject herself to ethics rules to be nice,” said former Obama ethics czar Norm Eisen. “There’s recognition that they’re in very uncertain territory here. The better thing to do would be to concede she is subject to the rules. It would create some outside accountability, because if she can voluntarily subject herself to the rules, she can voluntarily un-subject herself to the rules.”
Granted, it’s not like Ivanka hasn’t already been essentially working as a member of Trump’s admin before this. She keeps showing up at meetings with other world leaders like Angela Merkel and Justin Trudeau, so they aren’t exactly trying to keep her involvement a secret. Does that mean she needs access to classified info? Probably not, but nothing makes sense anymore, so now this is happening.
[Politico | photo: Getty]