Ivanka Trump has long treated her senior White House staffer position as a side hustle, a convenient title to don when she’s not busy saving women’s rights or furthering her business interests from her government perch.
Her toe dip into the pool of federal governance is finally coming home to roost. She’s in the spotlight for (almost predictably, given our current hellish hamster wheel of a news cycle) using a personal email account for government business.
When faced with questions over her conduct, Ivanka — ICYMI, daughter of 2016 presidential candidate Donald Trump, who mentioned a certain other set of emails about as often as he downs a Diet Coke — said she didn’t know that she was doing anything wrong.
This candid admission suggests that she cared even less about her father’s campaign than she does his administration, since she seems to have achieved the impossible by hiding in her silky blonde hair and blocking out the entirety of the 2016 election.
White House ethics officials learned about her (possibly illegal) lapse while combing through emails to a handful of Cabinet officials related to a lawsuit, as first reported by the Washington Post.
Ivanka’s spokespeople have put out defenses that sound eerily similar to those advanced by that Hillary Clinton’s people at first: there was no classified information in the emails and they were virtually all non-government related.
The content in the emails has not been comprehensively publicly leaked, so it’s impossible at first glance to prove the veracity of those statements. As the emails were found while looking through the correspondence of Cabinet secretaries, though, it’s hard to believe that they were all about Arabella’s birthday party or how to surface Jared’s “hidden genius.”
What we do know is this: That Ivanka conducted government business with her personal account shows an impressive sense of untouchability uncomplicated by cries hypocrisy. Her father successfully shot fatal holes in the hull of Clinton’s campaign by obsessing over her email usage and ensuring that the media followed suit. Of course people would find out when Ivanka — and her husband! — did exactly what they called out Clinton for, especially in an administration that attracts lawsuits — and the discovery process that comes with them — like moths to a flame. Yet in the Chanel No. 5-scented cloud of privilege in which Ivanka lives, neither she nor her father have yet faced accountability for their actions.
The particulars of this latest email scandal may end up being innocuous; Ivanka may be too removed from the real inner workings of the government to inadvertently reveal damaging information.
An investigation may also turn up classified, precious information with which she was “extremely careless.”
Either way, Ivanka’s behavior shows us one truth without a doubt: despite a rough two years for the Trump dynasty, its golden princess retains her inherited conviction that for her, different rules apply.
For reminding us that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, Ivanka Trump is our Duke of the Week.