Ivanka Trump Legally BARRED From Participating In Any Trump Businesses

The Office of Government Ethics has said that Ivanka Trump must file financial disclosure forms, and that she’s barred from participating in anything related to the Trump family’s businesses because she’s an adviser to her father in the White House. The ethics office was never contacted about her role, revealing yet another area in which the White House is either sorely ignorant or sorely corrupt (most likely both).

Senators Elizabeth Warren and Tom Carper asked the ethics office about the rules that Ivanka is supposed to follow. At the time they asked, Ivanka was in the process of getting her government-issued devices and a security clearance, and her lawyer had already said she would stick to the same ethics rules applied to every other government employee.

This is what the ethics office told Warren and Carper about the ethics rules applying to her:

“[T]he primary criminal conflict of interest statue prohibits senior White House appointees and other executive branch employees from participating personally and substantially in particular matters directly and predictably affecting their financial interests. Among other things, this prohibition extends to the financial interests of companies in which they have ownership interests…

…the primary criminal conflict of interest statute prohibits Ms. Trump from participating in particular matters affecting her financial interests, including the financial interests of Trump family businesses and other companies in which she has an ownership interest. That conflict of interest statute also covers her spouse’s financial interests, which are imputed to her.”

So even if her husband, Jared Kushner, didn’t have his own White House office, he still couldn’t participate in the Trump Organization either.

Ivanka’s company was granted trademarks in China the same day she had dinner with Chinese President Xi Jinping. The company said that the new trademarks are normal for the business that they do, and she did place her company in a trust and resigned from her position in the Trump Organization to accept her White House role. The Trump Organization, however, has likewise received a number of trademarks in China since Trump took office.

She maintains financial control of her own company, though, as well as an interest in Washington’s Trump International Hotel, according to The New York Times. These ethics rules apply to financial interests, even for employees and executives who’ve formally resigned from their positions in their businesses. And those Chinese trademarks, granted after she took her post in the White House, could violate the ethics rules to which she’s bound. Her ability to approve or deny certain deals through her trust may violate those rules as well.

Unfortunately, ethics compliance is under the purview of the White House, and the White House is pretty loyal to Donald Trump and has shown zero interest in ensuring ethical compliance. The ethics office doesn’t have enforcement power – they just issue guidance. Congressional Democrats now have a powerful case against Ivanka should it come to light that she’s violating these rules, though.

There’s word for this if she doesn’t bring herself into full compliance: Corruption.


Featured image by Sean Gallup via Getty Images