Two Senate Democrats are asking the government office in charge of ethics to provide details of how Ivanka Trump is avoiding ethical and financial conflicts in her newly announced White House role.
Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warner and Delaware’s Tom Carper sent a letter on Wednesday to the Office of Government Ethics saying that Trump’s “increasing, albeit unspecified, White House role … [has] resulted in substantial confusion.”
“We write today to request information about the ethics rules that President Trump’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, will be required to comply with, or has indicated she will voluntarily comply with, in her role as an advisor to the President,” the Senators’ letter requests from Walter Shaub, the Director of OGE.
The pair also are asking how the OGE will assure that Ivanka Trump complies with ethics rules. The letter comes in the wake of announcements by the White House of an increasing role for the first daughter in the White House, including an office in the West Wing, and a formal role as “assistant to the President.” She was also invited to attend the W20 summit by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
The Senators also are seeking whether OGE has provided any guidance — or if the White House has asked for any — on what ethics rules apply to Ivanka, and if either OGE or White House legal counsel has the authority to take any disciplinary actions against her, to the extent that she is not a government employee.
In addition, they are asking for the identities of all those who were involved in deciding the scope of Ivanka Trump’s role in the White House and whether the OGE was involved in the decision.
Recognizing that the first daughter is not a paid employee, they have asked the hypothetical question of what financial or ethical disclosures she would have to meet if she were a paid employee, a sign that the two intend to pressure Ivanka to comply with the same rules.
For her part, the first daughter has said that she will voluntarily follow any ethics guidelines that apply to federal employees.