Opinion: US Code might allow the White House to Appoint Trump Family Members, but it’s doesn’t make it less questionable!
“3 U.S. Code § 105 – Assistance and services for the President: (e) Assistance and services authorized pursuant to this section to the President are authorized to be provided to the spouse of the President in connection with assistance provided by such spouse to the President in the discharge of the President’s duties and responsibilities. If the President does not have a spouse, such assistance and services may be provided for such purposes to a member of the President’s family whom the President designates” (Cornell Law School).
I don’t know about you, but it’s just one of these days, where you see entitlement in the New York Gang or the Trump Administration. This was made and prepared for the President Donald J. Trump, as he was swearing-in and starting his term. Because the Office of Government Ethics (OGE), who is in-charge of checking and making the sure the personnel and staff is following the codes and procedures for their roles in government. Seriously, the OGE Lawyer worked the laws in his favor, even when I struggle to see it. My first question after reading the US Code 105 Title 5(d), did the President loose his wife? Therefore, because of his tragic loss, he needed counsel from son-in-law Jared Kushner and oldest daughter Ivanka Trump inside the White House. How can you spell the code wrong, “If the President does not have a spouse”. True she was in New York the first months of the Presidency. Still, she was still his spouse, meaning that “he had”. But before I rant, take a look into key parts of the reasoning for the appointments of his family inside the White House!
“Section 3110 of title 5, also known as the anti-nepotism statute, states that “[a] public official may not appoint, employ, promote, advance, or advocate for appointment, employment, promotion, or advancement, in or to a civilian position in the agency in which he is serving or over which he exercises jurisdiction or control any individual who is a relative of the public official.” 5 U.S.C. § 3110(b). The statute expressly identifies the President as one of the “public official[s]” subject to the prohibition, and a son-in-law is a covered “relative.” Id. § 3110(a)(2), (a)(3). Moreover, under Article II of the Constitution, the President exercises “jurisdiction or control” over the White House Office as well as over the rest of the Executive Branch. See Myers v. United States, 272 U.S. 52, 163–64 (1926); Inspector General Legislation, 1 Op. O.L.C. 16, 17 (1977). Less certain is whether the White House Office is an “agency”—a term that section 3110 defines to include an “Executive agency,” thereby calling up the definition of “Executive agency” generally applicable to title 5, see 5 U.S.C. § 3110(a)(1)(A); id. § 105. But whether or not the White House Office meets this definition (a subject to which we will return in Part II, infra), 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” (Koffsky, P:2, 2017).
“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. Cf. AAPS, 997 F.2d at 911 n.10 (declining, after holding that the First Lady qualifies as a “full-time officer or employee” of the government under FACA, to decide her status under the conflict of interest statutes). In choosing his personal staff, the President enjoys an unusual degree of freedom, which Congress found suitable to the demands of his office. Any appointment to that staff, however, carries with it a set of legal restrictions, by which Congress has regulated and fenced in the conduct of federal officials” (Koffsky, P: 16-17, 2017).
I will not jumping jacks around this OGE Lawyer Koffsky, but office that is run by the President is an Executive Office, that issues Executive Orders and Executive Memorandums. That if followed by current law and within provisions within the state because legal and acts that all citizens has to follow. To subject the White House into a sublime role of the state is demeaning, even if he needs support of the branches of government like the Courts and Congress. But that doesn’t make the White House into a playhouse for playboy bunnies, its the place where executive orders and legal minds meet to determine the future of the Republic. It’s insulting that Koffsky is belittling the office and the White House, so it fits legally President role and his ability to appoint family members.
Yes, the President is allowed to seek advice and that ad-hock with family members. That is without doubt, but that is different ones in while speak with an uncle in Louisiana before making a decision that matters for both United States and the World itself. There is problematic to hire family into the White House, as their supposed restrictions and the boundaries of their roles. Since the family bond will not be cut, but be ever present in the decision making.
That Jared Kushner is a Public Official is clear with his title and responsibilities, as a Senior Advisor to the President, who is working on American Innovation, Peace in the Middle East and combating the Opioid crisis in the United States. Ivanka Trump is by title the Assistance to the President. Both of them has had a public role and been acting as Public Officials. They have been there, traveling with the President and even taking his place when he was tired or wanted to relax. Like Ivanka Trump did during the G-20 in July 2017, when the not-elected family member took the seat G20 Leaders Table. So her assistance goes further than ordinary public officials. Since, this sort of role would usually end on Secretary of State and the Vice-President. However, it isn’t the case in the matter of Trump Family.
“Enforcement. While the statutory language bars the appointment of relatives as well as the acceptance of such appointments, enforcement of the prohibition may be limited. The remedy expressly provided for violating this prohibition states that the appointed individual “is not entitled to pay, and money may not be paid from the Treasury as pay” for that person. The statute itself does not require nor does it provide expressly for removal of the individual from the federal civilian position. As noted above, the provision was directed at stopping the practice of placing relatives on the government payroll, and thus the law assures that a relative so appointed may not be paid from federal funds for any such service. The statute likewise does not provide a penalty for the public official who appointed the individual. However, it may be noted that for some rank-and-file positions, not of a confidential or policy making nature, the appointment of a relative may involve a “prohibited personnel practice” by the appointing official” (CRS Report & Analysis, 2016).
Here is another one giving leeway for the possible hiring of Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump, that is if they are in their roles unpaid and with ranks. Even, that is an issue with the role of the Senior Advisor Kushner and all his positions, even the clearances he needs to be able to fulfill his duty at the White House. Ivanka has also been part of the close-knitted leadership of his fathers. She been part of meetings and such. So both of them has been have been close to confidential material most likely, as they work so close with their relative, the President.
Just like covered in People Magazine in January 2017: “Though Kushner’s appointment does not require Senate confirmation, it is a controversial one: Anti-nepotism laws forbid the hiring of relatives to Cabinet positions, but are less clear on whether they can be appointed to White House staff roles. In American history, anti-nepotism laws are actually a relatively recent development: They were put into place in 1967 by then-President Lyndon B. Johnson not long after one of his predecessor’s appointments raised eyebrows” (Pearl, 2017).
So even if the law and the Anti-nepotism law are put in place to accept family members in White House roles. Still, the nepotism is in full affect. There is no half-step on that. The United States should have a hard time accepting the appointment of Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump as Senior Advisor and Assistant to the President. All of this has entitled them and given them a special role in the Executive Office of the United States. What is clear by the U.S. Code 105, title 5(d) and will always stand out for the provision in the code that said this: “If the President does not have a spouse, such assistance and services may be provided for such purposes to a member of the President’s family whom the President designates”.
The President has a spouse, his third wife, Melanie, therefore he doe not need such assistance and services. Instead, they are using the titles in the anti-nepotism statutes, they can most likely not be as valuable as these words. However, Koffsky wrote this: “or to appoint his relative to the White House under title 3 and subject him to substantial restrictions against conflicts of interest”. These words are saying that its set substantial restrictions to the office, even as the President has let them be a vital part of his term, Kushner is nearly saving half of America and the Middle-East. Ivanka is publicly part abroad and in Washington. It’s not like they are restricted in that manner, but creating conflicts of interests. That should worry anyone caring about the honest of the public office.
Therefore it was striking what Jason Chafetz said in January 2017: “According to Josh Chafetz, a professor at Cornell Law School and an expert in constitutional law and legislative procedure, the White House is not regulated in the same way as other administrative agencies. “The bigger issue for the administration is not so much about the technical bounds of these nepotism laws, but it just looks bad,” Chafetz said. “I don’t think there’s anything legal that can be done in terms of the appointment. It just looks like there’s a pattern of cronyism that has emerged, especially in conjunction with the cabinet appointments.” (Delkic & Mallin, 2017).
It’s enough. Peace.
Koffsky, Daniel L. – ‘Application of the Anti-Nepotism Statute to a Presidential Appointment in the White House Office’ (20.01.2017)
Cornell Law School – ‘U.S. Code › Title 3 › Chapter 2 › § 105’ link: https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/3/105
CRS Report & Analysis – ‘The Federal Anti-Nepotism Statute: Limits on Appointing, Hiring, and Promoting Relatives’ (12.01.2016) link: https://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/nepotism.pdf
Delkic, Melina & Mallin, Alex – ‘Nepotism Laws Don’t Apply to Jared Kushner Appointment, DOJ Says’ (21.01.2017) link: http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/nepotism-laws-apply-jared-kushner-appointment-doj/story?id=44951811
Pearl, Diana – ‘Donald Trump’s Son-in-Law Has Hillary Clinton to Thank for Skirting JFK-Inspired Nepotism Rules’ (11.01.2017) link: http://people.com/politics/jared-kushner-nepotism-laws-donald-trump/