Dem senator wants ethics probe of Mnuchin ‘Lego Batman’ plug

Dem senator wants ethics probe of Mnuchin ‘Lego Batman’ plug
© Greg Nash

Sen. Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenSanders, 50 Democrats unveil bill to send N95 masks to all Americans Manchin told White House he would back version of billionaire tax: report Democrats look to scale back Biden bill to get it passed MORE (D-Ore.) wants an ethics probe into Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s comments last week urging parents to send their kids to see “Lego Batman,” a movie he produced. 

Wyden, the ranking member on the Senate Finance Committee, on Monday wrote a letter to Office of Government Ethics (OGE) Director Walter Shaub, expressing concern that Mnuchin’s plug violated the ethics agreement he signed in January, Reuters reported.

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In the letter, Wyden said his committee has not received any notice of Mnuchin divesting his interests in RatPac-Dune Entertainment Holdings LLC, which he agreed to do in January within 120 days of his confirmation. Wyden said he feared Mnuchin still had an interest in the company when he plugged for it. 

"I am concerned that Sec. Mnuchin’s comments, may be seen to have a predictable effect on the financial interests" of RatPac-Dune, Wyden wrote.

Mnuchin had also agreed "not [to] participate personally and substantially in any matter that has a direct and predictable effect on the financial interests of the entity,” with the exception of obtaining a certain waiver for doing so.

During an interview Friday at an Axios event, Mnuchin said “Lego Batman” when asked for a movie recommendation.

"I'm not allowed to promote anything that I'm involved in,” Mnuchin said. “So I just want to have the legal disclosure, you've asked me the question, and I am not promoting any product. But you should send all your kids to 'Lego Batman.' "

Mnuchin's remark echoed a controversial moment last month, when White House senior counselor Kellyanne Conway appeared to promote first daughter Ivanka Trump's merchandise line during an interview on "Fox & Friends," saying, "Go buy Ivanka's stuff."

That plug landed Conway in hot water, with the OGE and top lawmakers on the House Oversight Committee urging disciplinary action for the senior Trump aide. Ultimately, the White House took no disciplinary action against Conway.