House Oversight Committee Calls for Ethics Review of Kellyanne Conway

Kellyanne Conway

Top lawmakers serving on the House Oversight Committee have called for a review into Trump’s leading adviser, Kellyanne Conway, after she plugged her boss’ daughter’s merchandise line on national television.



Both House members, Democrat Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, and Republican Chairman Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah are sending a letter of request to the Office of Government Ethics requesting review and recommending an appropriate punishment, according to The Hill. The letter, in part, reads:

“Conway was acting in her official capacity, was identified as ‘Counselor to President Trump, and gave the interview at the White House in front of the White House seal…

“In the course of the interview, Conway repeatedly and explicitly endorsed Ivanka Trump’s products… Conway’s statements clearly violate the ethical principles for federal employees and are unacceptable. The White House’s reported decision to counsel Conway supports this conclusion.”

The letter goes on to cite the regulations pertaining to Conway’s violation in full and then draws a reasonable conclusion:

“In this case, Conway’s statements from the White House using her official title could appear to constitute an explicit endorsement and advertisement for Ivanka Trump’s personal business activities.”



The full letter can be read in its entirety at the Oversight Committee website.

The Associated Press quoted Chaffetz as calling Conway’s television promotion of the Ivanka Trump line “clearly over the line, unacceptable.”

Conway has drawn serious criticism from Washington ethics watchdogs regarding her push for Ivanka Trump’s line of clothing and accessories, which has been dropped by several retailers, most recently Nordstrom, for flagging sales.

The left-leaning watchdog group, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed an ethics complaint on Thursday, stating that the White House adviser’s pitch was “an apparent violation of federal law, ethics regulations, and other standards of conduct.”

A former top official under President Barack Obama also weighed in. Former Deputy Secretary of Labor Chris Lu tweeted an excerpt of the law he says was violated:

“This is the federal ethics law that @KellyannePolls just violated cc: @OfficeGovEthics @jasoninthehouse”

Kellyanne Conway ethics violation

Meanwhile, the Office of Government Ethics website crashed after Conway’s remarks on Thursday, due to “an extraordinary volume of contacts from citizens about recent events.”

“OGE’s website, phone system and email system are receiving an extraordinary volume of contacts from citizens about recent events.”

The OGE then tweeted that while it works to prevent violations of ethics, it doesn’t have “investigative or enforcement authority.”

The agency then tweeted the process to followers as well as the agencies involved in investigation and enforcement.

“Congress, GAO, the FBI, Inspectors General, and the Office of Special Counsel have the authority to conduct investigations. When OGE learns of possible ethics violations, OGE contacts the agency, provides guidance & asks them to notify OGE of any action taken.”

The OGE then reassured that it was following up with that process.

“OGE is actively following this agency-contact process.”

Trump and his administration has belligerently insisted that their agenda is more forceful than, and outweighs, the rule of law. With only three weeks into his term, Trump’s travel ban has been tossed as unlawful, his senior security adviser is under investigation for promising to lift sanctions with Russia, and now his staff is pimping for-profit products sold by his daughter on national television.

Hopefully, Conway will be appropriately disciplined for what appears yet another conflict of interest disaster in the wake of the former reality TV star having set up shop in the White House.

 

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