DOJ: Trump hiring Kushner doesn’t violate anti-nepotism law


Hiring his son-in-law Jared Kushner to be President Trump’s White House advisor will not violate federal anti-nepotism laws, the Justice Department concluded Friday, the day Trump took office.

The statement comes after numerous critics have raised concerns about Kushner, who is married to the president’s daughter Ivanka Trump, and his potentially conflicting business interests. 

“In choosing his personal staff, the President enjoys an unusual degree of freedom, which Congress found suitable to the demands of his office,” said deputy assistant attorney general in the DOJ Office of Legal Counsel (OLC), Daniel Koffsky, as reported by CNN.

A person familiar with the matter told the network that Trump’s presidential transition team had asked career lawyers inside the OLC to review the Kushner appointment.

A separate source said that Koffsky is a longtime career attorney there and said political appointees of the DOJ including Attorney General Loretta Lynch did not play a role in the opinion, according to CNN.

{mosads}Koffsky argued that the president is given broad powers to hire and manage his staff in the White House and that anti-nepotism laws mainly apply to individuals holding an official position within an agency of the executive branch.

“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,” Koffsky noted.

“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,” he added, according to CNN.

The DOJ’s statement echoes the position held by Kushner’s lawyer earlier this week, who argued that that Kushner’s appointment to his father-in-law’s administration “is clearly lawful” under president’s authority.

Tags Donald Trump Jared Kushner

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