A leading government ethics group on Friday requested that the White House, Department of Justice and Office of Government Ethics investigate presidential strategist Stephen K. Bannon for using a private public relations executive to conduct official White House business.
The complaint was prompted by a Center for Public Integrity investigation that detailed Bannon’s unorthodox arrangement with veteran Republican strategist Alexandra Preate — one that may violate federal laws.
It also comes less than a month after the Center for Public Integrity and Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting launched #CitizenSleuth — a crowd-sourced investigation that is examining the detailed financial disclosures from more than 400 Trump administration officials, including Bannon.
“Veteran Republican media strategist Alexandra Preate is providing professional services to the White House and White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, yet is not employed by President Donald Trump’s administration or paid by the federal government,” wrote Lawrence Noble and Brendan Fischer of the Campaign Legal Center, a nonpartisan nonprofit based in Washington, D.C.
The letter, sent today and addressed to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Office of Government Ethics Acting Director David Apol and newly hired White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, asks the officials to “exercise the appropriate authority to investigate, prosecute, or make recommendations regarding potential violations of federal laws and regulations.”
Representatives for Kelly, Sessions and Apol were not immediately available for comment.