The Office of Government Ethics is officially demanding President Trump reprimand Kellyanne Conway for hawking Ivanka Trump’s products from the White House.
In a letter to White House lawyer Stefan Passantino obtained by The Hill, OGE director Walter Shaub asked for “disciplinary action” to be taken against Conway, who is the chief legal adviser to Donald Trump. The letter cited Conway’s use of an interview on Fox & Friends from the White House Briefing Room to market Ivanka Trump’s line of clothing and apparel to a national TV audience.
“Under the present circumstances, there is strong reason to believe that Ms. Conway has violated the Standards of Conduct Act and that disciplinary action is warranted,” Shaub wrote. “I recommend the White House investigate Ms. Conway’s actions and consider taking disciplinary action against her.”
The letter comes after Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) asked the OGE for recommendations on how to respond to Conway’s apparent ethical breach. After national outcry over the interview, Rep. Chaffetz called her actions “wrong, wrong, wrong.”
Shaub gave the White House a deadline of February 28 to investigate whether or not Conway’s actions were in violation of the Standards of Conduct Act, and if so, to recommend a course of disciplinary action.
Last week, Conway appeared on Fox & Friends and fielded questions from the anchors, including one about Ivanka Trump’s brand being dropped from high-end stores Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom. Conway responded by fluffing the First Daughter in a minute-long monologue, concluding it with a direct ask for the American public to “go buy Ivanka’s stuff.”
“It is important that every executive branch employee be aware of the rule against misuse of position,” Shaub said at the time. “By focusing on this rule and their other basic ethical obligations, employees can truly honor the principle that public service is a public trust.”
Zach Cartwright is an activist and author from Richmond, Virginia. He enjoys writing about politics, government, and the media. Send him an email at [email protected]