Dems ask if Trump aide Bill Shine is breaking ethics laws

A group of Democratic senators wants the White House counsel’s office to answer questions and provide documentation on whether a senior administration official is breaking ethics laws by receiving money from 21st Century Fox.

Sens. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenKamala Harris: The conventional (and predictable) pick all along On The Money: McConnell says it's time to restart coronavirus talks | New report finds majority of Americans support merger moratorium | Corporate bankruptcies on pace for 10-year high Hillicon Valley: Facebook removed over 22 million posts for hate speech in second quarter | Republicans introduce bill to defend universities against hackers targeting COVID-19 research | Facebook's Sandberg backs Harris as VP pick MORE (Mass.), Richard Blumenthal (Conn.), Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseSenate Democrats demand answers on migrant child trafficking during pandemic Democrats seek to exploit Trump-GOP tensions in COVID-19 talks Liability shield fight threatens to blow up relief talks MORE (R.I.) and Edward MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeySens. Markey, Cruz clash over coronavirus relief: 'It's not a goddamn joke Ted' Sanders offers bill to tax billionaires' wealth gains during pandemic Senate Democrats demand answers on migrant child trafficking during pandemic MORE (Mass.) sent a letter Monday to White House counsel Emmet Flood asking for documents and detailed answers regarding payments Bill Shine, a former Fox News executive, is getting from his former employer.

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"21st Century's Fox's previous and ongoing payments to Mr. Shine of millions of dollars in severance payments raise questions about his compliance with federal conflict of interest statutes and regulations," the senators wrote.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The letter, first reported by CNBC, was sent just weeks after a financial disclosure report showed Shine would receive guaranteed bonuses from 21st Century Fox in 2018 and 2019. The bonuses are said to total about $7 million, with about $3.5 million each year.

Shine received $8.4 million when he left his role at Fox News.

The Democratic senators argue that the payments represent a breach of ethics laws. They also asked whether Shine was provided “any authorizations or ethics waivers regarding his participation in meetings or communications related to particular matters that affect 21st Century Fox, Fox News Channel, and its affiliates.”

Shine left Fox News in May 2017 after facing criticism for his handling of sexual harassment and discrimination allegations against some top executives at the network. He joined the White House in July of this year.