Washington D.C. – Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) asked the head of the U.S. Office of Government Ethics (OGE) to review a comment about “The Lego Batman Movie” made by Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin.
According to the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance, Wyden sent a letter to OGE Director Walter Shaub after Sec. Mnuchin made a comment that could be seen as promoting the film during a live interview with the Axios news website.
Mnuchin, a former Hollywood producer, made the remark when he was asked for 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,” he said. “But you should send all your kids to ‘Lego Batman.'”
Mnuchin’s own company, Ratpac-Dune Entertainment, helped produce the film.
The Senate Finance Committee said Mnuchin agreed to divest financial interest in Ratpac-Dune within around four months following his confirmation as Treasury Secretary.
Following the comment, Sen. Wyden wrote in part, “Regardless of Sec. Mnuchin’s personal financial interest in films produced by Ratpac-Dune, OGE regulations state that ‘An employee shall not use or permit the use of his Government position or title or any authority associated with his public office to endorse any product, service or enterprise’ with limited exceptions. I am concerned that Sec. Mnuchin’s comments may also be interpreted as an explicit endorsement of films produced by Ratpac-Dune in violation of OGE regulations.”
Wyden’s full letter questioning Sec. Mnuchin’s ethics agreement HERE.
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