CABINET/CONFLICT OF INTEREST/ETHICS/TREASURY/TRUMP PEOPLE/STEVEN MNUCHIN: “The top Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee asked the government ethics watchdog on Monday to review comments by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin plugging ‘The Lego Batman Movie,’ a film one of his companies produced, for a possible ethics violation.
In a letter to Office of Government Ethics Director Walter Shaub, Senator Ron Wyden said he was concerned that Mnuchin had violated his ethics agreement signed in January in his comments on Friday at the end of a live interview with the Axios news website.
Mnuchin had agreed to divest his interests in Ratpac-Dune Entertainment Holdings LLC within 120 days of his confirmation, and ‘not participate personally and substantially in any matter that has a direct and predictable effect on the financial interests of the entity’ unless first obtaining a waiver…
At the Axios event, Mnuchin was asked in a question from a reader for a movie recommendation.
‘I’m not allowed to promote anything that I’m involved in. So I just want to have the legal disclosure, you’ve asked me the question, and I am not promoting any product,’ Mnuchin said. ‘But you should send all your kids to ‘Lego Batman.’ “
-David Lawder, “Senator seeks ethics probe of Mnuchin’s ‘Lego Batman’ comment,” Reuters, March 28, 2017