A former head of the U.S. Office of Government Ethics (OGE) under Obama accused White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders of violating a federal ethics law because she posted to Twitter that a restaurant owner had thrown her out.
Former ethics chief Walter Shaub took to Twitter to post a passive-aggressive whine-bomb about the tweet Sanders issued after she was tossed out of the Red Hen in Lexington, Virginia.
“Sarah, I know you don’t care even a tiny little bit about the ethics rules, but using your official account for this is a clear violation of 5 CFR 2635.702(a),” Shaub said in a reply to Sander’s tweet. “It’s the same as if an ATF agent pulled out his badge when a restaurant tried to throw him/her out.”
The regulation Shaub refers to, 5 CFR § 2635.702 covers the use of public office for private gain. The specific paragraph, a, is about the inducement or coercion of benefits.
(a)Inducement or coercion of benefits. An employee shall not use or permit the use of his Government position or title or any authority associated with his public office in a manner that is intended to coerce or induce another person, including a subordinate, to provide any benefit, financial or otherwise, to himself or to friends, relatives, or persons with whom the employee is affiliated in a nongovernmental capacity.
Sanders tweeted about being booted from The Red Hen the day after it happened. (RELATED: Sarah Sanders kicked out of Red Hen Restaurant in Lexington because she works for Trump)
“Last night I was told by the owner of Red Hen in Lexington, VA to leave because I work for
@POTUS and I politely left,” Sanders posted. “Her actions say far more about her than about me. I always do my best to treat people, including those I disagree with, respectfully and will continue to do so.”
Last night I was told by the owner of Red Hen in Lexington, VA to leave because I work for @POTUS and I politely left. Her actions say far more about her than about me. I always do my best to treat people, including those I disagree with, respectfully and will continue to do so
— Kayleigh McEnany 45 Archived (@PressSec45) June 23, 2018
What inducement or benefit did she or her family receive because of the tweet? The restaurant has not given the press secretary anything but grief over the incident. So with no benefit realized, Shaub looks like little more than another whiney liberal loser creating outrage over nothing.
Shaub has filed multiple complaints with the OGE against other Trump administration members.