Former WH ethics attorney Shaub presses FCC Chairman Pai over possible ethics violation with NRA gift


Former White House ethics attorney Walter Shaub questioned whether a gun that Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai received from the National Rifle Association (NRA) violates the FCC’s ethics rules. In a number of tweets on Feb 23, Shaub expressed his confusion as to why accepting the gift didn’t go against the standards of conduct for federal employees that bar employees from receiving gifts from lobbyists, such as the NRA. “Anyone care to explain to me why the FCC thinks that the ethics rules allow Ajit Pai to accept the gift of an expensive handmade gun from the NRA, an entity whose interests he can affect (and has affected) by the performance of his official duties? Am I missing something?” Shaub tweeted.

Shaub argued that a federal employee can only receive a gift if it won’t affect the interest of the giver. But because the NRA waged a campaign on net neutrality, it’s likely the NRA thinks Pai can “affect its interests.” “And the exception applies ONLY when the award is a bona fide public service award. This goofy ‘Courage Award’ would not seem to qualify,” Shuab went on to tweet. “They don't even give it on a regular schedule.” Schaub also asked for the written analysis the FCC is required to issue for gifts worth more than $200.

Former WH ethics attorney Shaub presses Pai over possible ethics violation with NRA gift