Dem lawmaker says Trump administration has kicked ethics standards 'to the curb'

Rep. Brenda LawrenceBrenda Lulenar LawrenceLawmakers celebrate 100th anniversary of women getting the right to vote Overnight Energy: Interior chief says climate response falls on Congress | Bernhardt insists officials will complete offshore drilling plans | Judge rules EPA must enforce Obama landfill pollution rules Trump Interior chief says climate change response falls on Congress MORE (D-Mich.) says the Trump administration is kicking ethics standards “to the curb.”

“I’m very concerned about classified, high-security clearances being given to nonmilitary, to nonpersonnel that do not meet the criteria for classified information, i.e., family,” Lawrence, who serves on the House Oversight and Reform Committee, told Hill.TV’s Krystal Ball in an interview that aired on Friday.

Lawrence said government officials have processes and protocols they are expected to follow and she argued that those who don't follow ethics standards should be held accountable.

"We have rules and we have processes and protocols that I’m expected to follow,” she continued. “This administration has just kicked that to the curb and you see these unexplainable activities.”

The Democratic congresswoman pointed to the Trump Organization, which owns Trump Hotels, as one just one example of the president's "unexplainable activities." 

Even though Trump resigned from his role and turned over management to his adult sons before his inauguration in January 2017, Lawrence argued that the president is still “reaping benefits” from the Trump Organization, which controls hotels and other properties around the world.

“He is actually reaping benefits from a relationship with a government that he is the chief executive office over … everyone knows it is illegal, it’s wrong and no one has held this president accountable,” Lawrence told Hill.TV.

After Democrats took control of the House, House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsNancy Pelosi fends off impeachment wave — for now House Democrats, Trump lawyers ask appeals court to expedite subpoena case Lawmakers call for 'time out' on facial recognition tech MORE (D-Md.) sent 51 letters to the White House and various Trump Organization officials as part of a series of congressional investigations.

Democrats on the committee last month also opened an expansive probe into the White House’s handling of security clearances.

Cummings sent a letter to White House counsel Pat Cipollone demanding a slew of documents related to the security clearance process. This includes those related to background investigations and security clearances of both current and former officials like senior White House advisor Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerTrump pushing for GOP donor's company to get border wall contract: report Trump family members will join state visit to UK Top Palestinian negotiator: Trump wants our surrender MORE. Kushner is Trump’s son-in-law.

Lawrence insisted that Democrats are just doing the job they were “elected to do” when it comes congressional oversight.

“We are doing the work that we were elected to do and I stand by that,” she said. “This is not threatening, there has always been investigations, there’s always been oversight and we will do our job.”

— Tess Bonn