Earlier today, President Trump’s top aide, Kellyanne Conway, appeared to breach a federal ethics law that prohibits those (or their surrogates) who hold public office from using their office for personal gain, or to act as advertisement for products, basically.
Patterico covered that for us earlier today, and made the very sad, but true point that violating ethical laws raises about the same concern factor level as what you might encounter if you meant to wear black socks today, only to get to the office and discover your socks are actually navy.
Still, Conway’s impromptu commercial for Ivanka Trump’s clothing line did catch the interest of Chris Lu, a former deputy secretary of labor, under President Obama, who tweeted out the specific law that was broken.
This is the federal ethics law that @KellyannePolls just violated
cc: @OfficeGovEthics @jasoninthehouse pic.twitter.com/EivJeFd7wY
— Chris Lu (@ChrisLu44) February 9, 2017
It also caught the eye of the press, always eager to jump on the slightest misstep.
House Oversight Committee Ranking Member Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) wrote a letter to committee chair Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) to refer Conway to the Office of Government Ethics.
Oh. That guy.
Chaffetz later said that her comments were “clearly over the line.”
Well, they clearly violated that ethical law. That’s pretty easy to see, even for legal laymen.
While speaking with reporters after a daily briefing, White House press secretary, Sean Spicer fielded the ethics question, regarding Conway.
“Kellyanne has been counseled, and that’s all we are going to go with,” Spicer told reporters during his daily briefing.
“She’s been counseled on the subject, and that’s it.”
White House spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders later told reporters the consultation occurred after Conway’s interview.
There’s no word on who counseled her, or what that counseling consisted of.
I’m pretty sure “counseling” consisted of somebody in the breakroom casually saying over their shoulder, “Hey, you can’t say that. It’s illegal.”
Our Ben Howe pictured another scenario.
I have no trouble believing that, either.