March 29 (UPI) -- President Donald Trump's daughter, Ivanka, said Wednesday she will assume an official but unpaid White House position as "special assistant" after Democrats questioned whether her role violates any ethics rules for public officials.
Ivanka Trump remains connected to her fashion line, a for-profit enterprise that was the subject of a rebuke from the Office for Government Ethics in February when Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway urged people to buy her clothes during a television interview.
In a statement to The New York Times, Ivanka Trump said she has been "voluntarily" abiding by federal ethics rules since the early days of her father's administration, when she had no official title. It remains unclear what role she still plays in managing the fashion business bearing her name, but her lawyer said Wednesday she doesn't plan to divest as part of the ethics compliance process.
"Her compliance with ethics rules will be the same as they have been," attorney Jamie Gorelick said. "You can hold an asset if you recuse from particular matters."
It also remains unclear what her precise role is in the White House. She has regularly attended political meetings and has been at her father's side during visits with foreign heads of state.
On March 21, it was revealed she had claimed an office on the second floor of the White House's West Wing, space normally reserved for staff.
Trump's husband, Jared Kushner, holds the administration title of "senior adviser" and also does not accept a government salary.
"We are pleased that Ivanka Trump has chosen to take this step in her unprecedented role as first daughter and in support of the president," a Trump spokeswoman said in an email. "Ivanka's service as an unpaid employee furthers our commitment to ethics, transparency, and compliance and affords her increased opportunities to lead initiatives driving real policy benefits for the American public that would not have been available to her previously."
Earlier Wednesday, Democratic Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Tom Carper of Delaware sent a letter to the ethics office chief seeking to find out whether the administration had requested or received guidance on what steps Ivanka Trump should take to comply with government rules designed to avoid conflicts of interest for federal employees.
"Ms. Trump's increasing, albeit unspecified, White House role, her potential conflicts of interest, and her commitment to voluntarily comply with relevant ethics and conflict of interest laws have resulted in substantial confusion," the letter reads.
In response, Ivanka Trump said her official position subjects her to the same ethics requirements as other administration officials.
"I have heard the concerns some have with my advising the president in my personal capacity while voluntarily complying with all ethics rules, and I will instead serve as an unpaid employee in the White House office, subject to all of the same rules as other federal employees," she told the Times.