One watchdog group has issued a demand of the White House, Office of Government Ethics, and the Department of Justice to launch a probe into whether Press secretary Jen Psaki was in violation of ethical obligations while being courted to take employment at MSNBC directly after her current stint as press secretary of the White House.
It was recently reported that Psaki is slated to drop away from her role this upcoming May in order to take a job in network television with MSNBC. The report claims two main sources familiar with the issue who are well aware of the press secretary informing this bit of information to various senior White House staff. Psaki also is reportedly in talks with other outlets, such as CNN, as well.
"Concerns about conflicts of interest when seeking new employment are not new, and the federal government has strict laws and regulations governing how employees conduct themselves," The watchdog group in question, Protect the Public's Trust, is run by a group of retired and former public servants and penned a letter on Monday to be sent to the government. "Under federal law, it is a criminal offense punishable by up to five years in prison to willfully participate in any ‘particular matter’ in which an organization an employee is negotiating or has an arrangement regarding future employment has a financial interest."
As read in their letter, the group makes reference to a podcast appearance made by Psaki back on April 14th. The press secretary was questioned about Fox News White House Correspondent Peter Doocy, and stated, "He works for a network that provides people with questions that, nothing personal to any individual including Peter Doocy, but might make anyone sound like a stupid son of a b****."
The letter first came to light via the Washington Examiner on Tuesday morning.
The fact that Fox News stands as a forefront competitor to CNN and MSNBC heavily complicated the issue, stated the group, because Psaki has searched for "non-federal employment" at both of the far-left-leaning news networks. "Accordingly, Ms. Psaki’s statements regarding Fox News may be regarded as the use of her official positions for the private gain of Fox News’ competitors, such as MSNBC, with whom she is affiliated in her nongovernmental capacity," reads the letter.
Spokespeople for the White House have, as of writing, not issued any response to requests for comment.
The director for Protect the Public's Trust, Michael Chamberlain, stated that high-ranking senior governmental officials promise to uphold transparency and ethics but have consistently turned the other cheek and "act in a manner that undermines confidence in government integrity." He calls on government bodies to investigate Psaki so it can be assured that there are no ethics violations.