President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris must "lay down the law" with their family members about using their connections with the White House to profit financially, according to Peter Schweizer, president of the Government Accountability Institute.
"They are not going to pay attention to what a lawyer says, and in both instances, both with the Biden and the Harris families, you have this sort of cultural history of this kind of cashing in," Schweitzer said on Fox News' "Fox and Friends" Monday.
His comments come after The Los Angeles Times reported over the weekend that White House aides have become concerned about Harris's niece, Meena Harris, who has for some time used her famous aunt's name and image while marketing videos, children's books, clothing with phrases the now-vice president has said, designer headphones, and other items.
"Some things can't be undone," a White House official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told The Times. "That being said, the behavior needs to change."
"Habits are hard to break, and oftentimes, political families feel a certain semblance of entitlements to be able to do these sorts of things," said Schweizer. "Unless you get the president of the United States or the vice president explicitly calling off their families in public. This behavior is absolutely going to continue."
But part of the problem with ethics in Washington, D.C., is that the rules are written by political figures themselves, he added.
"There are no proper repercussions," said Schweizer. "When Kamala Harris was attorney general of California, her husband ran a small law firm in Los Angeles. Some of his clients had matters before her office, and there is evidence, some would argue that they got favorable treatment. So this is not a new area for the Harris family. It didn't impact them negatively before. And unfortunately, I don't think there is any reason for them to change their behavior right now."
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