Ivanka and Jared’s Ethics Lawyer Somehow Wins Ethics Award
Since Donald Trump was elected president, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner have demonstrated a remarkably troubling record regarding adherence to government ethics standards and disclosure requirements. Yet somehow their chief ethics lawyer, Washington corporate attorney Jamie Gorelick, has just been honored by a legal group as one of a group of lawyers who are “making the greatest impact on ethics and compliance using the skills of their profession.”
An announcement from Gorelick’s firm, WilmerHale, brags that Gorelick, who was the Deputy Attorney General under President Bill Clinton, received the “2017 Attorneys Who Matter” honor from Ethisphere Inc., “an organization that promotes business ethics and compliance.”
The statement from the firm provides this quote from Gorelick: “It is gratifying to be recognized for my work to help clients and the legal profession comply with ethics requirements. Ethics statutes and guidelines ultimately exist to preserve the rule of law and protect our citizens. That is why I have been so focused on these issues my entire career.”
Only in the 1984-ish world of the endlessly dishonest Trump presidency, or, I guess, in the corporate legal profession, could the lawyer who has advised and represented Ivanka and Jared on ethics this year receive such a distinction.
Look at the record:
The director of the National Background Investigations Bureau testified this month at a congressional hearing about Kushner’s disclosure documents and said he has never seen so many errors on a security clearance form. The apparent errors were far from benign. Beyond the repeated failures to report contacts with Russians, it emerged this month that Kushner failed to disclose his ownership interest in Cadre, a real estate tech business that raised millions from investors after Jared joined the Trump White House. As Newsweek concluded, “The timeline suggests more than just an inadvertent oversight, but an effort by Kushner to hold onto Cadre rather than be forced to divest his interests in the emerging company, according to ethics experts.” Material omissions on security clearance forms are crimes if made knowingly.
McClatchy reported in July that special counsel Robert Mueller and congressional investigators “are examining whether the Trump campaign’s digital operation – overseen by Jared Kushner – helped guide Russia’s sophisticated voter targeting and fake news attacks on Hillary Clinton in 2016.”
Jared and Ivanka also secretly established their own private email domain after the election, and then used it to conduct some Trump Administration business — a brazen abuse given the Trump campaign’s endless assault on Hillary Clinton’s similar practice. Gorelick might have been familiar with that controversy, given that she was a long-time Hillary supporter and a lawyer for the Clinton Foundation.
I think Ethisphere should have given their ethics award to someone else.