The ethics office has little enforcement power, but it can formally recommend disciplinary action if the White House does not act. That recommendation would not be binding, and the process would take until late April or early May. If the ethics office does formally recommend discipline, it would be up to the White House to decide any steps against Conway.
As a candidate, Trump regularly railed against lobbyists and led crowds in chants of “Drain the swamp!” But as president, Trump signed an executive order that weakened significant aspects of the Obama ethics policy, including scrapping a ban on lobbyists joining agencies they had recently lobbied.
“Go buy Ivanka’s stuff …I’m going to go get some myself today,” Trump senior adviser Kellyanne Conway told Fox News in an interview from the White House. “I’m going to give a free commercial here: Go buy it today, everybody.” Norman Eisen, who served as an ethics adviser to Obama, said Conway’s comments amounted to an advertisement and violated government ethics law.
In response to the Twitter comment Trump posted criticizing Nordstrom, White House spokesman Sean Spicer characterized the company’s action as a “direct attack” on the president’s policies. Nordstrom said it routinely cuts brands each year and that the decision to pass on the Ivanka Trump brand had been based on its performance.
Tentative plans for Puzder’s hearing have been repeatedly postponed amid delays with a review by the Office of Government Ethics. Those stem from the complexities surrounding how Puzder will divest himself from CKE Restaurants, which is owned by private equity firm Roark Capital Group.
CNN reported on Sunday that Rep. Price bought between $1,001 and $15,000 worth of shares last March in Zimmer Biomet Holdings Inc., a medical device manufacturer. Days later, he introduced legislation in the House of Representatives that would have delayed a regulation that could have ultimately damaged the company, CNN said.