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US Office of Government Ethics recommends investigation, possible discipline of Kellyanne Conway

Counselor to President Donald Trump Kellyanne Conway speaks during a television interview with the White House in the background, in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017, about the Federal appeals court refusal to reinstate President Donald Trump's travel ban. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

The Democrats in the U.S. House Oversight Committee released a letter on Tuesday that the United States Office of Government Ethics wrote to White House Deputy Council Stefan Passatino urging the White House to investigate senior White House counselor Kellyanne Conway for her comments about Ivanka Trump's business ventures.

The letter, which was written Monday, details the Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch and the portion of the code relating to Conway's statements promoting President Donald Trump's daughter Ivanka her company's clothing merchandise. The code as described by OGE reads, "Public service is a public trust, requiring employees to place loyalty to the Constitution, the laws and ethical principles above private gain."

Director of OGE Walter Shaub, who penned the letter to the White House, added, "Executive branch officials should use the authority entrusted to them for the benefit of the American people and not for private profit."

Shaub expressed that the White House had informed OGE that all incoming senior White House appointees received their required full ethics training, and that Conway should have been aware of this ethics code. After detailing the statements Conway made on February 9 to Fox News after Ivanka Trump's merchandise had been dropped from the retailer Nordstrom, Shaub wrote he believed Conway was an explicit violation of the Standards of Conduct.

"These facts, if true, would represent a clear violation of the prohibition against misuse of position," Shaub said. "Therefore, I recommend that the White House investigate Ms. Conway's actions and consider taking disciplinary action against her."

The full letter was released on Twitter by the House Oversight Democrats and can be seen below:



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