Sens. Tom Carper, D-Delaware; and Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, recently questioned the Office of Government Ethics about how President Donald Trump's daughter, Ivanka Trump, will comply with federal ethics rules in her role as “the president's ‘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,” the senators wrote 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 Ivanka “is settling in as what appears to be a full-time staffer in her father's administration, with a broad and growing portfolio.” Reportedly, Ivanka maintains an office in the West Wing and is in the process of procuring official communications devices and a government security clearance.
But the Trump administration has suggested that despite this new role, Ivanka 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 Ivanka's personal financial interests in Ivanka Trump Marks, may violate federal conflict of interest laws.