March 29, 2017

Senators Warren and Carper Question Office of Government Ethics on Ivanka Trump’s White House Role

Full text of the letter available here (PDF)

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Tom Carper (D-Del.) today questioned the Office of Government Ethics (OGE), about how President Trump's daughter, Ivanka Trump, will comply with federal ethics rules in her role as "the presidents ‘eyes and ears' ... providing broad-ranging advice" in the White House.

"Ms. Trump's increasing, albeit unspecified, White House role, her potential conflicts of interest, and her commitment to voluntarily comply with relevant ethics and conflicts of interest laws have resulted in substantial confusion," wrote the senators in a letter to the OGE.

In addition to sitting in on previous high-level meetings and advising her father on specific issues, recent reports indicate that Ms. Trump "is settling in as what appears to be a full-time staffer in her father's administration, with a broad and growing portfolio." Reportedly, Ms. Trump maintains an office in the West Wing, and is in the process of procuring official communications devices, as well as a government security clearance.

But the Trump administration has suggested that despite this new role, Ms. Trump will not be considered an official government employee. While she has previously stated that she would "voluntarily follow all of the ethics rules placed on government employees," the senators asked the OGE to "determine which ethics rules apply to Ms. Trump, which disclosures she will be required to make to demonstrate her compliance, and whether her compliance with these rules will be monitored and enforced."

The senators also raised specific concerns about how this new role, in combination with Ms. Trump's personal financial interests in Ivanka Trump Marks LLC, may violate federal conflict of interest laws.

To view the text of the letter, click here