Kushner in White House Doesn't Violate Anti-Nepotism Laws
The Department of Justice published a ruling Saturday
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 21, 2017 1:38 PM CST
National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, left, Senior Adviser to President Donald Trump Jared Kushner, center, and Vice President Mike Pence watch as Trump signs his first executive order in the Oval...   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

(Newser) – President Trump didn't violate federal anti-nepotism laws by making son-in-law Jared Kushner a senior White House adviser, the Department of Justice's Office of Legal Counsel ruled in a 14-page memo published Saturday. CBS News reports the 1967 anti-nepotism laws forbid presidents from putting family members—including sons-in-law—into government positions. The OLC says the Kushner appointment is OK because the White House is not technically an "executive agency" and because another federal law gives the president "an unusual degree of freedom" to pick his or her White House staff, according to CNN.

The ruling was made by Deputy Assistant Attorney General Daniel Koffsky, who's been with the DOJ for more than 20 years, the Washington Post reports. Koffsky acknowledges that this current decision "departs" from the way anti-nepotism laws have been applied in the past but calls the departure "fully justified." Koffsky argues it would be impossible for a law to prevent the president from getting advice from family members. He says this is actually better because now Kushner—as an official White House staffer—will be subject to laws governing conflicts of interest while advising Trump.

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