Watchdog group praises Ivanka Trump for assuming official White House role

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Ivanka Trump
Ivanka Trump, daughter of US President-Elect Donald Trump walks through the lobby with her husband Jared Kushner at Trump Tower in New York, US, November 18, 2016. Reuters/Mike Segar

Democracy 21 praised Ivanka Trump for assuming official role in the White House as an unpaid government employee. She will reportedly be working as an adviser to US President Donald Trump alongside her husband, Jared Kushner.

Fred Wertheimer, president of Democracy 21, a government watchdog group, said he commended the first daughter for formalising her status. In a statement, he said Democracy 21 praises Ivanka for her decision because it means she recognises that it would have been inappropriate for her to serve as a White House employee and not be subject to the same rules that apply to others who work at the White House.

The White House announced Ivanka’s official White House role, stating that the first daughter’s service as an unpaid employee furthers its commitment to ethics, transparency and compliance. It would also mean increased opportunities to lead initiatives for the benefit of Americans that were not previously available to her.

Previously, the Trump administration announced that Ivanka will have an office in the West Wing, government-issued phone and computer and security clearance to access classified information, but will not have an official title in the White House. The said arrangement had raised ethical concerns, which the first daughter had addressed.

Ivanka assured that “while there is no modern precedent for an adult child of the president,” she will comply with all ethics rules placed on government employees. But Norm Eisen, the ethics czar during the administration of former US President Barack Obama, believes she can also voluntarily un-subject herself.

As a response, Ivanka issued another statement to declare that she will instead serve as an unpaid employee in the White House office. She clarified that she will follow the same rules as other federal employees. Jamie Gorelick, the first daughter’s lawyer, explained that his client had changed her mind in line with her commitment to comply with federal ethics standards, and that she is open to opposing points of view,” the New York Times reports.

Richard Painter, who served as chief ethics lawyer for former US President George W Bush between 2005 and 2007, said he thinks Ivanka has made the right decision. Referring to the conflict of interest statutes, he told the Guardian that he was glad they sorted this out because the last thing that Americans need is Trump’s daughter committing a crime that could be a felony. While her assets remain, she handed the day-to-day operations of her clothing and accessory line to an executive.