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Chaffetz Joins Cummings’ Request to Ask Office of Government Ethics to Recommend Disciplinary Action for Kellyanne Conway

Feb 9, 2017
Press Release

Chaffetz Joins Cummings’ Request to Ask Office of Government Ethics to Recommend Disciplinary Action for Kellyanne Conway

 

Washington, D.C. (Feb. 9, 2017)—Today, in response to a letter sent this morning by Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Chairman Jason Chaffetz agreed to Cummings’ request to send a letter asking the Office of Government Ethics to review statements made on national television by Kellyanne Conway, Counselor to President Donald Trump, directly promoting and endorsing the President’s daughter’s private business, and recommend disciplinary action against her if warranted. 

“Conway’s statements appear to violate federal ethics regulations, which prohibit actions that imply a government endorsement of the ‘personal activities’ of another person,” Chaffetz and Cummings wrote.

“In this case, there is an additional challenge, which is that the President, as the ultimate disciplinary authority for White House employees, has an inherent conflict of interest since Conway’s statements relate to his daughter’s private business,” the Members added. 

“For this reason, we request that you use authority Congress granted to you under the Ethics in Government Act of 1978, as amended, to ‘recommend to the head of the officer’s or employee’s agency that appropriate disciplinary action (such as reprimand, suspension, demotion, or dismissal) be brought against the officer or employee’,” they wrote.

Various agencies have standard guidance on penalties for employees who engage in this conduct.

  •                   The Department of Interior’s Fish and Wildlife Service recommends a minimum 5-day suspension for first-time offenders of this regulation.
  •                   Employees at Customs and Border Protection are subject to a 14-day suspension for a first offense, and removal from their position for second offenses.
  •                    Employees at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and at Transportation Security Administration are subject to a “14-day suspension to removal” for a first offense.

Click here to read the joint letter.

115th Congress