White House aide and first daughter Ivanka Trump is now under fire by Democrats in the Senate. From Politico:
Days after Ivanka Trump created an uproar for endorsing Goya Foods on Instagram, a pair of senators want an investigation into whether President Donald Trump’s daughter violated federal ethics rules.
Sens. Tom Carper (D-DE) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) on Monday sent a letter to the Office of Government Ethics inquiring about possible disciplinary action for Ivanka Trump, who serves as a senior adviser in the White House.
A letter addressed to the Honorable Emery Rounds III announced: “Dear Director Rounds, We write today to request your assistance with a review of a tweet by Ivanka Trump, who serves as Advisor to President Trump. On July 14, 2020, Ms. Trump sent a tweet from her personal Twitter account with an image of herself holding a can of black beans from Goya Foods, Inc.1The tweet also included the company’s motto: “If it’s Goya, it has to be good. Si es Goya, tiene que ser bueno.” At the time of this tweet, the profile for Ms. Trump’s personal Twitter account stated that she was an “advisor to POTUS on job creation + economic empowerment, workforce development & entrepreneurship.”
Plus added, “As you know, the Office of Government Ethics (“OGE”) promulgated the rule against misuse of position, which relates to the proper use of official time and authority. This rule states, in part:
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 non governmental capacity…and persons with whom the employee has or seeks employment or business relations.
Then stated, “This concern is particularly pronounced here, given that Ms. Trump tweeted just five days after a White House event on July 9, 2020, in which Goya CEO Robert Unanue praised the leadership of President Trump. The timing of her remarks creates the appearance, at least, that praise for Trump Administration officials may elicit later endorsements from these same officials. In fact, on July 15, 2020, President Trump shared an image on Instagram of himself with several Goya products at the Resolute Desk.”
And declared, “To better understand the application of federal ethics rules to these circumstances, we request that you provide us with answers to the following questions by August 10, 2020:
1. Did Ms. Trump’s tweet represent an “endorsement of any product, service, or enterprise”? 2. If so, did this tweet violate the rule against misuse of position? 3. What disciplinary actions could OGE or the Designated Agency Ethics Official in the White House take in response to a violation of the rule against misuse of position by anofficial in the Executive Office of the President? 4. Under what circumstances, if any, has OGE disciplined a White House official for a violation of the rule against misuse of position?”
Further questioning, “5. Has OGE provided training to White House officials regarding the rule against misuse of position? If so, please provide the dates on which OGE provided this training and copies of any related written materials provided to attendees. 6. Has OGE conducted a review of the White House ethics program to ensure its compliance with program requirements and its effectiveness in advancing the mission of the executive branch-wide ethics program? If so, please provide the results of that review. If not, we request that OGE conduct a review.” With plenty of interested parties waiting on a reply.