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Is Ivanka's New Retail Shop In Violation Of White House Ethics Laws?

If First Daughter Ivanka Trump does something, there’s an outstanding chance that her critics are going to find something wrong with it. That’s true for each and every member of the Trump clan, as the prevailing narrative from critics suggests that anything done by President Donald Trump or those associated with him is completely and unequivocally wrong.

That’s not only tough to comprehend, it’s a statistical impossibility. How can one person - let alone someone that has achieved extraordinary success - be wrong about everything?

We’ll leave that aside for a moment as we take a gander at another row that has emerged over something that has been done by a member of the Trump clan. As Newsweek shares, Ivanka Trump’s company has opened up a new retail outlet in Manhattan.

“In the ever-changing retail landscape, the Ivanka Trump brand is committed to engaging with the customers directly,” a statement touting the opening read in part. “Today, the Ivanka Trump brand is evolving in big ways, but the mission remains the same.”

Alright, so big deal - another retail shop has opened up in a city that is completely littered with retail options for shoppers to choose from. What’s the problem? According to Richard Painter, chief White House ethics lawyer under President George W. Bush, there’s a whole bunch of them.

"This is another in a long line of conflicts of interests," he said. "By selling directly to die-hard Trump supporters, who are already hanging out at Trump Tower, she gets to pocket even higher margins."

As a former White House ethics lawyer, Painter should be well aware of the fact that counsel that’s tasked with providing advice to presidential administrations tend to be on the lookout for things that could get the president or his associates in hot water.

Don’t you suppose that the current White House counsel - or the gaggle of lawyers that the Trump family has at its disposal - would be sounding the alarm if there was any kind of problem here whatsoever? Common sense certainly suggests that they would, but Painter insists that balls have been dropped.

“I think that’s wonderful for Ivanka that her businesses are doing well, and, uh, everything would be just fine if she weren’t also working in the White House,” Painter added. “She has to comply with the Criminal Conflict of Interest statute, which will prohibit her from participating in government matters that have a direct or predictable impact on her businesses, and this includes trade with China.”

Alright. To recap, current White House counsel and the army of lawyers at the disposal of the Trump family have absolutely no clue what they are doing, but an outside observer can pick out any and all problems with laser-like precision without knowing all of the details. Makes perfect sense.

Painter is not the only one on the lookout for nefarious dealings among the Trump clan, as the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington threw red flags all over the place in a report that the group put together earlier this year.

“Mr. Kushner’s and Ms. Trump’s appointments as presidential advisors are all the more concerning because of the high risk that they carry their own significant conflicts of interest,” the report claimed. “Like the president, both have refused to put their assets in a blind trust to be sold – the most effective method to avoid conflicts of interest.”

Foiled again! Or not. This doom and gloom report was making the rounds back in April, but the sky has not fallen as of yet. We’re going to go out on a limb and assume that White House and Trump family attorneys are perfectly capable of doing their jobs, in spite of the insistence of others that they aren’t.

Source: Newsweek
Photo: U.S. Department of State/Flickr, YouTube

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