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The Trump Administration Once Again Turns a Mole Hill Into a Giant, Spewing Volcano

By Dustin Rowles | Politics | February 9, 2017 |

By Dustin Rowles | Politics | February 9, 2017 |

The Trump Administration has an uncanny affinity for taking something relatively insignificant — in this case, Nordstrom dropping Ivanka Trump’s clothing line — and turning it into a major scandal. Yesterday, Donald Trump added more evidence in favor of impeachment by trashing Nordstrom for dropping Ivanka’s line, the latest in a series of actions that raise questions about his conflicts of interest.

Today, Kellyanne Conway just straight up violated an ethics law on Fox News this morning when she told viewers to “go buy Ivanka’s stuff.”

“I’m going to give it a free commercial here,” Conway said. “Go buy it today.”

Here’s the relevant ethics law Conway unquestionably violated:

“An employee shall not use his public office for his private gain, for the endorsement of any product, or for the private gain of any friends, relatives, or persons with whom the person is affiliated.”

Conway clearly endorsed a product for the gain of a person with whom she is affiliated. CLEARLY.

Here’s the catch, however, according to The Washington Post:

Enforcement measures are largely left to the head of the federal agency — in Conway’s case, the White House.

Oh, the White House is in charge of disciplining its own employees for ethics violations?

Good luck with that. Though a former acting director of the Office of Government ethics called the violation “jaw dropping,” and suggested it was a “clear violation of rules prohibiting misuse of public office for anyone’s private gain,” there are’t a lot of scenarios I imagine in which anyone in the White House will actually enforce an ethics law. In fact, President Trump* is more likely to pass an executive order ruling that ethics laws do not apply to the White House than to actually enforce one.

Still, wouldn’t it be incredible if a dumb fight with a clothing store is what ultimately led to Kellyanne Conway’s undoing?

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Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.