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 WarrenAbigail Disney: 'We're creating a super-class' of rich people Is Big Tech biased? The Hill's Morning Report - In exclusive interview, Trump talks Biden, Iran, SCOTUS and reparations MORE (Mass.), Richard Blumenthal (Conn.), Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseSize of 2020 field too big even for Democratic enthusiasts, poll finds Overnight Defense: House passes T spending package with defense funds | Senate set to vote on blocking Saudi arms sales | UN nominee defends climate change record Trump's UN pick faces Senate grilling MORE (R.I.) and Edward MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeySenate set to bypass Iran fight amid growing tensions Young activists press for change in 2020 election Hillicon Valley: House panel advances election security bill | GOP senator targets YouTube with bill on child exploitation | Hicks told Congress Trump camp felt 'relief' after release of Clinton docs | Commerce blacklists five Chinese tech groups 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.


"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.