Ivanka Trump with husband Jared Kushner.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The US Justice Department has reportedly concluded that there is no breach of federal anti-nepotism laws regarding Donald Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner serving in the new White House administration.
According to a CNN report Saturday citing a source close to the matter, Trump's transition team had asked a career lawyer with the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel to examine Kushner's proposed appointment as as a senior adviser to the new president.
Kushner, 36, is an Orthodox Jewish businessman who is married to the president's eldest daughter, Ivanka. He served as a central strategist during Trump's election campaign but has faced accusations of conflict of interest regarding his slated role in his father-in-law's administration.
A memo on the opinion prepared by the Office of Legal Counsel's Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Daniel Koffsky was released Friday with the finding.
"In choosing his personal staff, the President enjoys an unusual degree of freedom, which Congress found suitable to the demands of his office," CNN quoted Daniel Koffsky as writing.
Koffsky further explained, however, that Congress has strict regulations on the conduct of federal officials and that there is a set of legal restrictions is pertinent to any appointee to the White House staff.
"A President wanting a relative's advice on governmental matters therefore has a choice: to seek that advice on an unofficial, ad hoc basis without conferring the status and imposing the responsibilities that accompany formal White House positions; or to appoint his relative to the White House under title 3 and subject him to substantial restrictions against conflicts of interest," added Koffsky in the opinion.
"We believe that the President's special hiring authority in 3 U.S.C. § 105(a) permits him to make appointments to the White House Office that the anti-nepotism statute might otherwise forbid," the memo stated.