We’ve known since back in December that this kind of thing was going to be a fixture of the next couple of years. You have a guy, apparently who is a law unto himself, at the Office of Government Ethics. He’s an Obama appointee and an Obama political donor. Shortly after Trump was elected he jumped into the limelight by directing the Office of Government Ethics to use its official Twitter account to send out a series of tweets poking fun at Trump. Then he was complaining about not being able to complete a ethics review of Trump’s nominees before their confirmation hearings when the law makes no such requirement. It looked like he was much more interested in providing oppo research to Senate Democrats than any real interest in ethics.
Now he’s waded into the non-troversy of Kellyanne Conway encouraging people to buy Ivanka Trump’s merchandise in response to Nordstrom removing it from their stores:
The director of the Office of Government Ethics (OGE) says White House counselor Kellyanne Conway misused her official position by hawking Ivanka Trump’s product line on TV and recommends the White House punish her.
“Under the present circumstances, there is strong reason to believe that Ms. Conway has violated the Standards of Conduct Act and that disciplinary action is warranted,” Walter Schaub wrote in a Tuesday letter to White House legal counsel Stefan Passantino.
Schaub asked the White House to respond by Feb. 28 with the results of its investigation and any disciplinary action it may decide to take.
“First it’s Flynn, next it will be Kellyanne Conway, then it will be Steve Bannon, then it will be Reince Priebus,” he said. Put another way, Flynn is only the appetizer. Trump is the entree.
The White House needs to tell this guy in no uncertain terms that Kellyanne Conway works for the President and the President decides what, if anything, he wants to do and the President doesn’t owe an answer to anyone but the voters. If Trump doesn’t start defending his people he’s going to find himself alone very soon.