FACT Calls for Investigation into Senior White House Advisor Anita Dunn
Evidence Suggests Anita Dunn Ignored Public Disclosure Laws
Washington, D.C.— June 21, 2022— Today, the non-partisan ethics watchdog, the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT), filed a complaint requesting the Office of Government Ethics (OGE) investigate Senior Advisor to the President Anita Dunn for failing to file the required public personal financial disclosure.
Federal law requires government employees and officials to disclose their financial information to the public. This includes annual financial disclosure report that provides a "full and complete" statement of their assets, debts, and income. In addition, other relationships and all non-federal positions (whether or not compensated) held with any organization must also be disclosed.
Recent reporting shows that before her government employment, Dunn was a founding member of the corporate and political consulting firm SKDK and worked for President Biden's campaign in 2020. Since January 2021, Dunn has either been employed by the White House, SKDK, or both at the same time.
From January to August 2021, Dunn was a “senior advisor” to President Biden. Dunn reportedly remained at SKDK for “management issues” but not client matters.
From August 2021 to March 2022, Dunn worked at SKDK full-time.
In March 2022, Dunn again joined the White House as a "special government employee” to fill in for White House deputy chief of staff Jennifer O'Malley Dillon. Dunn reportedly told her SKDK clients that they could not contact her for two weeks.
From March 2022 to May 5, 2022, Dunn worked at SKDK full-time.
On May 5, 2022, the White House announced Dunn was again returning as a “senior advisor.”
Despite Dunn's senior positions in the White House, she has not filed any public financial disclosure reports. The White House attempted to excuse this by claiming Dunn was classified as a "special government employee" and her salary was below the threshold of $132,552 that triggers the requirement to file. A "special government employee" is someone retained to perform temporary duties of no more than 130 days. The role of “senior advisor”, however, is not a temporary one but is instead a continuous position in the Administration, demonstrated by the fact that both past and current advisors have filed public financial disclosures. In fact, Dunn worked more than 130 days just in her first stint at the White House and it appears her salary was purposefully set at $129,000--just below the threshold requiring public disclosure. It should also be noted that her salary happens to be significantly lower than other staff with similar seniority.
"This employment arrangement wherein Dunn is able to maintain her ties with a private company while in a senior advisory role raises serious concerns of conflicts of interest and improper influence. It is clear that someone in Dunn's position should be filing public financial disclosures--just as others in the same position are and have done in the past. As exemplified in this case, when a government official appears to successfully take steps to avoid a basic ethics rule it looks as if the law does not apply equally to all and leads to public district. We request the Office of Governmental Ethics investigate and take appropriate action," said Kendra Arnold, Executive Director of FACT.
A full copy of the complaint can be found here.
FACT is a nonprofit organization to promoting accountability, ethics, and transparency in government and civic arenas. For more on FACT, visit: http://www.factdc.org/