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Ethics office recommends Kellyanne Conway investigation

Posted at 2:29 PM, Feb 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-14 19:29:06-05

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The government's ethics watchdog is recommending that the White House investigate and possibly discipline President Donald Trump's counselor Kellyanne Conway.

In a letter made public Tuesday, the Office of Government Ethics wrote to White House attorneys that there's reason to believe that Conway violated the standards of ethical conduct for executive employees by endorsing Ivanka Trump's fashion line during a television interview last week.

The letter notes lawyers for the White House and OGE spoke on Feb. 9 — the day of Conway's interview — and that the Republican and Democratic leaders of the House Oversight Committee asked OGE to follow up.

"Go buy Ivanka's stuff, is what I would tell you," Conway said during the interview. "It's a wonderful line. I own some of it. I fully — I'm going to just, I'm going to give a free commercial here: Go buy it today, everybody. You can find it online."

White House spokesman Sean Spicer said last week that Conway has been "counseled," but the OGE said it has yet to receive any guidance on what if anything happened as a corrective action. The OGE is requesting that White House lawyers tell them in writing by Feb. 28 what they've done about the matter.

Federal ethics rules state that public employees may not use their positions "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."

Conway's plug came Nordstrom dropped Ivanka Trump's line of products.