W.H. Jarrett waiver on 2016 Olympics committee

This is something to keep an eye on. The White House has issued the following statement on senior advisor Valerie Jarrett leading the White House effort to bring the Olympics to Chicago in 2016. To do so, she has been granted a waiver under White House ethics rules.

Here's the statement:
The President promised during the campaign that staff would not work on contracts or regulations directly related to their former employers. We have captured that promise in Paragraph 2 of our revolving door rules, which applies to non-lobbyists. Valerie previously served as Vice Chair of Chicago 2016, the non-profit entity responsible for the Chicago bid. Although Chicago 2016 was not her "former employer" in traditional terms, the term "former employer" in the President's Order encompasses entities that appointees served as directors or officers, as Valerie did here. (To be clear, Valerie was not a lobbyist for Chicago 2016, and this waiver has nothing to do with lobbying.)

We decided that a waiver of Paragraph 2 was in the public interest in order to help bring the Olympics back to the United States. Valerie's past experience with Chicago 2016 makes her ideal to work with the city and its bid committee to help win the Olympics for the U.S., with the many benefits that would bestow. In her time working with the City of Chicago on its bid, she developed knowledge about the process that will make her a powerful advocate and liaison. Although Valerie previously volunteered with Chicago 2016, she has no continuing financial relationship with them. Since the Administration already plans on vigorously supporting the United States' sole 2016 Olympic bid, we felt that letting Valerie lead our efforts was strongly in the public interest.

(H/T Mark Knoller)

The post was updated at 5:20 P.M.

jeremy.jacobs@thehill.com

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