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 Ann WarrenDem lawmaker says Electoral College was 'conceived' as way to perpetuate slavery GOP rep to introduce constitutional amendment to limit Supreme Court seats to 9 Warren introduces petition to end the Electoral College MORE (Mass.), Richard Blumenthal (Conn.), Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseDems introduce bill requiring disclosure of guest logs from White House, Trump properties Sanders announces first staff hires in Iowa, New Hampshire McConnell works to freeze support for Dem campaign finance effort MORE (R.I.) and Edward MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeySenate Dems petition Saudi king to release dissidents, US citizen The Hill's 12:30 Report: Manafort sentenced to total of 7.5 years in prison Hillicon Valley: Google takes heat at privacy hearing | 2020 Dems to debate 'monopoly power' | GOP rips net neutrality bill | Warren throws down gauntlet over big tech | New scrutiny for Trump over AT&T merger 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.