Tags: Donald Trump | Russia Probe | Trump Administration | government | ethics | legal | donors

Anonymous Donors to Legal Defense Allowed by Govt Ethics

Image: Anonymous Donors to Legal Defense Allowed by Govt Ethics
President Donald Trump (Charles Krupa/AP)

By    |   Wednesday, 13 Sep 2017 10:48 PM

The Office of Government Ethics has reversed an internal policy that prohibits anonymous donations from lobbyists to White House staffers with legal defense funds, Politico reported.

According to the outlet, the move could help President Donald Trump's team raise money to pay for lawyers defending them in the ongoing Russia probes.

Politico reported the OGE wrote in a 1993 guidance document that donations could legally be made to defense funds if made anonymously.

But former OGE officials say the ethics office quickly determined the guidance had flaws, and instead advised attorneys to stay away from all lobbyist donations, anonymous or not, Politico reported.

The guidance document was never officially changed, however, Politico reported.

Just before the 2016 election, Walter Shaub, who was then director of the office, tried to review the policy, Politico reported.

"It's very depressing," Shaub told Politico. "It's unseemly for the ethics office to be doing something sneaky like that."

He tweeted out the policy "disgusts" him.

Vice President Mike Pence as well as numerous aides, such as senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner and new communications director Hope Hicks, have all sought legal council as special counsel and congressional investigations continue, Politico noted.

In a statement to Politico, the White House said it is not helping to set up any legal defense funds and it is also not pushing for any change that allows anonymous donations.

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The Office of Government Ethics has reversed an internal policy that prohibits anonymous donations from lobbyists to White House staffers with legal defense funds, Politico reported.
government, ethics, legal, donors
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2017-48-13
Wednesday, 13 Sep 2017 10:48 PM
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