Mark Pocan
Press Release

Forty-Two House Democrats Urge Office of Government Ethics to Examine Kellyanne Conway’s Public Endorsement of Ivanka Trump’s Product Line

"As a federal employee, Kellyanne Conway appears to have clearly violated these standards with her recent comments."

By - Feb 10th, 2017 02:32 pm

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) led a letter with 41 House Democrats to the U.S. Office of Government Ethics (OGE) urging a review of potential ethics violations concerning Kellyanne Conway’s recent public comments encouraging Americans to purchase items from the fashion line produced by President Trump’s daughter, Ivanka Trump.

In the letter, the Members of Congress state:

“Across the government, federal employees are expected to be held to a high standard of ethics. As a federal employee, Kellyanne Conway appears to have clearly violated these standards with her recent comments. It is especially troubling that Kellyanne Conway appears to have used her position of power in the White House to directly enrich the Trump family through Ivanka Trump’s fashion line. Such a blatant disregard for federal law and ethics standards set for public servants undermines public faith in our government.

“We encourage you to use your authority Congress granted your office under the Ethics in Government Act of 1978, as amended, to examine the blatant and inappropriate remarks made by Kellyanne Conway immediately and ensure members of the Trump Administration do not continue to use their positions of power to enrich members of the Trump family.”

The letter to U.S. Office of Government Ethics was signed by Mark Pocan (D-WI), John Sarbanes (D-MD), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Ted W. Lieu (D-CA), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM), Betty McCollum (D-MN), James P. McGovern (D-MA), Gwendolynne S. Moore (D-WI), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Chellie Pingree (D-ME), Jared Polis (D-CO), David Price (D-NC), Jamie Raskin (D-MD), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Bradley S. Schneider (D-IL), Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH), Darren Soto (D-FL), Mark Takano  (D-CA), Paul Tonko (D-NY), Donald S. Beyer (D-VA), Brendan F. Boyle (D-PA), Earl Blumeneauer (D-OR), David N. Cicilline (D-RI), Katherine Clark (D-MA), Steve Cohen (D-TN), John K. Delaney (D-MD), Val Demings (D-FL), Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA), Theodore E. Deutch (D-FL), Alcee Hastings (D-FL), Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), Henry C. “Hank” Johnson, Jr. (D-GA), Jared Huffman (D-CA), Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), Bill Keating (D-MA), Rick Larsen (D-WA), Brenda L. Lawrence (D-MI), Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), and Nydia Velázquez (D-NY).

The text of the letter is below and an electronic copy can be found here.

Walter Shaub
Director, U.S. Office of Government Ethics
1201 New York Ave NW #500
Washington, DC 20005

Dear Mr. Schaub:

We are writing to request your review of potential ethics violations concerning Kellyanne Conway’s recent public comments encouraging Americans to purchase items from the fashion line produced by President Trump’s daughter, Ivanka Trump. Kellyanne Conway, Counselor to President Trump, is a federal employee and appears to have clearly violated federal ethics laws delineated by the Office of Government Ethics.

According to the Office of Government Ethics, “An employee shall not use his public office for his own private gain, for the endorsement of any product, service or enterprise, or for the private gain of friends, relatives, or persons with whom the employee is affiliated in a nongovernmental capacity.” In a February 9, 2017, interview from the White House press briefing room with the Fox News Channel, Kellyanne Conway urged Americans to “go buy Ivanka’s stuff…It’s a wonderful line.  I own some of it…I fully—I’m going to give a free commercial here. Go buy it today, everybody. You can find it online.”

Across the government, federal employees are expected to be held to a high standard of ethics. As a federal employee, Kellyanne Conway appears to have clearly violated these standards with her recent comments. It is especially troubling that Kellyanne Conway appears to have used her position of power in the White House to directly enrich the Trump family through Ivanka Trump’s fashion line. Such a blatant disregard for federal law and ethics standards set for public servants undermines public faith in our government.

We encourage you to use your authority Congress granted your office under the Ethics in Government Act of 1978, as amended, to examine the blatant and inappropriate remarks made by Kellyanne Conway immediately and ensure members of the Trump Administration do not continue to use their positions of power to enrich members of the Trump family.

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3 thoughts on “Forty-Two House Democrats Urge Office of Government Ethics to Examine Kellyanne Conway’s Public Endorsement of Ivanka Trump’s Product Line”

  1. Karen says:

    Well done, Rep. Pocan. You are a great example of a Democrat who is not afraid to stand up to the Trump administration and leads the way for other Democrats to do the same.

  2. Jason says:

    I thought Mark was into a good inexpensive blouse.

  3. Virginia says:

    This New Yorker article describes the jockeying by key advisors for Trump’s attention–and Trump’s constant pitting of people against each other.

    It also quotes people saying that low-level govt. staffers clearly understand the ethics policy Conway brazenly violated. She knows the rules but is simply thumbing her nose at them–because her boss does. Even GOP electeds are outraged.

    http://www.newyorker.com/news/ryan-lizza/kellyanne-conways-battle-for-trumps-favor

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