President-elect Donald Trump has floated the appointment of Jared Kushner, his son-in-law, as an adviser. Kushner is, like Trump, a real estate developer, and has taken on a role in the president-elect’s transition team.
Kushner’s role in Trump’s administration may expand, according to reports, and there has been implications that he may be aware of the Presidential Daily Briefing (PDB). To be privy to such information, Kushner would need top secret clearance, a former CIA official told CBS.
The Trump camp has insisted that Kushner has not applied for a formal role in the White House staff. However, campaign manager Kellyanne Conway told “Good Morning America” that the president-elect wants Kushner to serve as an adviser.
“It’s appropriate for whoever’s going to get the presidential daily briefing to have a security clearance,” Conway said. “It’s not just appropriate, necessary.”
The possibility of Kushner taking on such a role and being informed of the PDB raises both legal and ethical questions, and may be in violation of anti-nepotism laws.
The 1967 law prohibits the president from appointing family members, including in-laws, to any executive agency. The only exception to the rule is in the event of unforeseen circumstances or a national disaster. Even so, such an appointment would be temporary.
Kushner has floated the idea of serving as Trump’s adviser without pay. Trump’s lawyers may argue that Kushner’s non-paid role would make his appointment legal.
Furthermore, the statute does not indicate any clear penalties or consequences for violation of the law. Experts believe the initial consequences of Kushner’s appointment would be political in nature, not legal.
A legal challenge against Kushner’s role could take years to resolve, ABC reports.
Kushner may ultimately be the one to face the most significant consequences, as his role would make him subject to conflict of interest laws. Experts say his business holdings could pose significant conflicts.