Democrats Investigate Fox News Payments to Trump Aide Bill Shine
Democratic Senators Elizabeth Warren (MA), Richard Blumenthal (CT), Sheldon Whitehouse (RI) and Edward Markey (MA) are requesting the White House hand over documents proving Trump communications adviser and former Fox News executive Bill Shine is not running afoul of ethics laws by accepting millions in bonuses from 21st Century Fox.
“21st Century’s Fox’s previous and ongoing payments to Mr. Shine of millions of dollars in severance payments raise questions about his compliance with federal conflict of interest statutes and regulations,” the senators wrote in a letter addressed to acting White House counsel Emmet Flood.
Questioning whether Shine followed appropriate regulations, they asked: “Did you or other ethics officials at the White House provide Mr. Shine with any authorizations or ethics waivers regarding his participation in meetings or communications related to particular matters that affect 21st Century Fox, Fox News Channel, and its affiliates other than those identified in this letter.”
CNBC broke the news of Shine’s possible ethics violations last month; a financial disclosure report showed that Shine would receive guaranteed bonuses from 21st Century Fox in 2018 and 2019. These bonuses are valued at $7 million, or $3.5 million each year.
Soon after, Walter Shaub, former director of the Office of Government Ethics, said that Shine may have violated the “extraordinary payment regulation” which forbids federal employees “from participating in any particular matter in which a former employer is a party or represents a party if he received an extraordinary payment from that person prior to entering Government service.”
Neither Shine nor the White House has returned requests for comment. Shine left Fox News in May 2017 amid concerns over how he handled sexual harassment and discrimination allegations against some of the network’s top executives.