Not long after Ivanka Trump’s controversial endorsement of Goya Foods, experts are sounding the alarm about the “serious legal trouble” that the first daughter has thrown herself into, Raw Story reported.
According to government ethics expert Walter Shaub, Trump’s tweet is a clear violation of federal law.
“Ms. Trump’s Goya tweet is clearly a violation of the government’s misuse of position regulation, 5 C.F.R. § 2635.702. Ms. Trump has had ethics training. She knows better. But she did it anyway because no one in this administration cares about government ethics.”
Shaub noted that Trump touted the Goya product on social media after the company’s CEO, Robert Unanue, praised her father, U.S. President Donald Trump. Not only that, Schaub noted that the praise came after Unanue faced backlash for his recognition of the president. Together, Schaub claimed that these actions “create the appearance of official sanction.”
Schaub also noted what he views as a particularly concerning part of Trump’s purported violation; it suggests that the government’s endorsement can be bought.
“Endorse the president and the administration will endorse your product,” Schaub wrote.
NBC News correspondent Heidi Przybyla, who covers politics and government ethics, pointed to a law from the Office of Government Ethics.
“An employee shall not use his public office for his own private gain, for the endorsement of any product, service or enterprise, or for the private gain of friends, relatives, or persons with whom the employee is affiliated.”
Zac Petkanas, former senior adviser to Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee, called Trump’s endorsement “illegal.”
Political scientist Seth Masket claimed that Trump’s endorsement is a violation of ethics that would have led to her removal under a previous administration.
As reported by CNN, Goya Foods, which is the largest Hispanic-owned company in the U.S., is facing a boycott in response to Unanue’s praise of Donald Trump. Despite the backlash, Unanue has doubled down on his praise of the president and called the boycott movement a “suppression of speech.”
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz also criticized the boycott and claimed that it was an example of left-wing Americans attempting to stifle free speech.
According to a spokeswoman for Trump, the first daughter has a right to show her personal support for the Goya Foods brand.
As noted by CNN, the Office of Government Ethics laws suggest that Trump, if she violated ethics law, could be fined, demoted, or imprisoned. However, the publication noted that it’s unlikely Trump would face any such repercussions.