Watchdog group files ethics complaint against Biden senior advisor Anita Dunn

President Joe Biden recently welcomed longtime political operative Anita Dunn back into the White House as a “senior advisor” — her third stint in the White House since the president first took office — and questions have been raised about her employment.

Fox News reported that a government watchdog group has now filed an ethics complaint against Dunn over allegations that she has failed to file personal financial disclosures that are required by federal law.

The nonprofit watchdog group known as the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT) sent a letter last week to the White House Office of Government Ethics to request a formal investigation into Dunn’s alleged breach of ethics requirements.

Revolving door at the White House for Dunn

The four-page letter from FACT noted that federal law requires timely disclosures of personal financial information to guard against conflicts of interest and other ethical quandaries, and wrote, “This federal law is extremely important and places an affirmative duty on those filing to ensure compliance with the law. There is no excuse for inaccurate, incomplete, or late filings, and every violation has consequences.”

Yet, Dunn, who continues to be employed by SKDK, a corporate and political consulting firm she co-founded, while also working in Biden’s White House, has thus far failed to submit the required disclosures.

The letter proceeded to outline how Dunn served as a “senior advisor” to the president from January to August 2021 while continuing to work at SKDK on “management issues” — but not with clients — until returning full-time to SKDK from August 2021 until March 2022.

In March, Dunn returned briefly to the White House as a “special government employee” to fill in for a top Biden staffer on leave but then immediately returned to SKDK until May when she was once again brought back into the White House for another turn as a “senior advisor.”

Potential for conflicts of interest and improper influence

According to FACT, Dunn never submitted the required financial disclosures and it appears that the White House has sought to exploit certain loopholes to avoid forcing her to do so, such as setting her salary just below a certain threshold and falsely arguing that her separate stints didn’t meet a threshold of days worked that would also trigger the disclosure requirements.

“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,” the letter stated. “This includes the possibility that she could personally financially benefit if she has an interest in SKDK or other companies.”

“It is overtly clear that Dunn’s position inside the White House is one where public disclosure is needed due to her power to influence government action and policy, but it is also required under the law,” FACT concluded. “As exemplified here, a government official’s failure to comply with the most basic ethics rules leads to public distrust in our government. Moreover, the following lack of transparency and consequences is especially harmful because it appears that the law does not apply equally to all.”

Law must apply equally to all, not just some

In a statement to Breitbart, FACT Executive Director Kendra Arnold said, “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. 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,” she added.

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