Senate

Warren, Dems accuse Trump of ethics violations

A group of six Senate Democrats led by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) is ramping up pressure on the Trump administration over alleged ethics violations.
 
The senators on Friday sent a letter to White House counsel Don McGahn urging him to “prevent further violations of government ethics laws by members of the White House and the administration.”
 
They specifically said President Trump’s counselor Kellyanne Conway may have violated “ethics laws and regulations.”
 
Conway gave a cable news interview from the White House briefing room this week in which she urged viewers to buy Ivanka Trump’s signature line of merchandise.
 
“Go buy Ivanka’s stuff,” she told the Fox News audience. “I’m going to give it a free commercial here.”
 
{mosads}The letter’s other signatories are Democratic Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.), Tom Udall (N.M.), Ed Markey (Mass.), Tom Carper (Del.) and Tammy Duckworth (Ill.).
 
The lawmakers cite an Office of Government Ethics rule that states a federal employee “may not use his public office for his own private gain or for that of persons or organizations with which he is associated personally.”
 
They also highlighted other possible ethical improprieties since Trump took office Jan. 20.
 
Critics have raised questions whether the Trump International Hotel in Washington violated its lease with the General Services Administration, which has drawn the interest of House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah).
 
Democrats are also pointing to the decision to substantially increase membership fees at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in West Palm Beach, Fla., which Trump and other top officials have called “the Winter White House,” shortly after his inauguration.
 
Another area of concern, Democrats say, is the Defense Department’s rental of space in Trump Tower, with proceeds going to the Trump Organization.
 
The pattern of behavior “suggests that ethics violations will continue to plague this Administration throughout the length of its tenure,” the senators wrote.
 
They are calling on the White House counsel to make public any guidance provided to White House staff to prevent ethical violations.
 
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Tags Ed Markey Elizabeth Warren Jason Chaffetz Sheldon Whitehouse Tom Carper Tom Udall

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