Office of Government Ethics recommends disciplinary action against Kellyanne Conway

Posted at 2:55 PM, Feb 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-14 14:56:08-05

The United States Office of Government Ethics is recommending that the White House take disciplinary action against Special Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway for openly plugging Ivanka Trump’s clothing line.

Conway made the comments during an interview on Fox News.

In a letter addressed to Stefan Passantino, a deputy counsel to the President, the OGE stated it had reason to believe Conway may have violated the Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch.

While Press Secretary Sean Spicer said last week Conway had been “counseled,” the OGE says it has yet to receive any information about disciplinary action against Conway.

The OGE also sent letters to Rep. Jason Chaffetz and Rep. Elijah Cummings of the House Oversight Committee, recommending the committee consider taking disciplinary action against Conway.

The OGE is an independent department in the executive branch. While it has no power to subpoena or issue charges, it is seen as an ethics watchdog and can recommend other branches take action.

After it was announced that Nordstrom would no longer sell Ivanka Trump’s line of clothing at its store, Conway went on Fox News and openly promoted the brand, telling the hosts she was giving a “free commercial” and to “buy Ivanka.” Her comments have raised questions about conflicts of interest between the Trump family’s business ties and its policy decisions.

Alex Hider is a writer for the E.W. Scripps National Desk. Follow him on Twitter @alexhider.