Ethics office allows WH staff to accept anonymous gifts for legal defense funds: report

Ethics office allows WH staff to accept anonymous gifts for legal defense funds: report
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The Office of Government Ethics (OGE) has reportedly altered a policy that previously prevented staff members with legal defense funds from accepting donations from lobbyists.

According to a report in Politico published Wednesday, the OGE has changed the policy, meaning White House staff members with defense funds can now accept donations that were once forbidden. 

The recent reversal dates back to an office guidance during the administration of former President Bill ClintonBill ClintonGOP rep: North Korea wants Iran-type nuclear deal Lawmakers, pick up the ball on health care and reform Medicaid The art of the small deal MORE, which ultimately urged lawyers to steer clear of donations from lobbyists after first saying such donations were allowed.

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Walter Shaub, the former director of the OGE who resigned in July, told the news outlet that in May he directed his office to add a line above the guidance to show that the OGE follows a different policy than what is detailed in the 1993 rule.

The White House, after Politico published the story, refuted the assertion that it is changing the OGE policy. 

"This is another example of Walter Shaub — who has no direct knowledge of anything the White House is doing or assisting with — trying to make himself feel relevant," Lindsay Walters, a spokeswoman for the White House, told the news outlet.

In a tweet after the story published, Shaub said he was disgusted by the story.

“This story disgusts me. I was hoping it was a technical website glitch,” Shaub wrote. “But the acting Director doesn't feel you deserve any answer, America”