White House counsel Kellyanne Conway should be investigated for using her public position to hawk Ivanka Trump’s clothing line, according to the Office of Government Ethics.
“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,” wrote Walter Shaub, director of the watchdog agency, in a letter to government counsel Stefan Passantino, which was made public Tuesday.
Shaub instructed the Trump administration to respond with its findings, and any disciplinary actions it recommends, by Feb. 28.
The Nordstrom department store chain announced last week it was dropping Ivanka Trump’s clothing and accessories products because of dwindling sales.
President Trump shot back on Twitter, accusing the retail company of treating his daughter “unfairly.” White House spokesman Sean Spicer said the Seattle-based clothier was “targeting” Ivanka Trump because of her father’s political policies.
Nordstrom denied those claims and said its decision was based solely on dwindling sales figures.
But Conway went farther, telling Fox News viewers to “go buy Ivanka’s stuff … I hate shopping but I’m going to go get some stuff for myself today. I’m going to give it a free commercial here, go buy it today,” she said during a Thursday interview.
Her remarks prompted outcries from Democrats who said the Trumps were trying to personally profit from their White House connections.
Conway later apologized.
House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz, a Republican from Utah, said Conway’s remarks were “over the line” and wrote a joint letter with a Democratic congressman from Maryland seeking guidance from the Office of Government Ethics.
The office is responsible for preventing conflicts of interest by officers and employees of the government’s executive branch.
There was no immediate comment Tuesday from Conway or the White House.