The group filed a complaint with the House Ethics Committee and the Office of Congressional Ethics. The complaint was a plea for the committees to “investigate whether Speaker Paul Ryan violated House rules by allowing the Trump campaign to use a broadcast of the State of the Union address for campaign fundraising purposes.”
According to a statement made by the group, it is possible that by having donor names scrolling across the screen during the address, Trump violated some House rules:
“Rule V of the Rules of the House of Representatives states that the speaker is responsible for administering official broadcasts and recordings of floor proceedings and that these official audio and visual transmissions shall not be used for partisan campaign activities. The State of the Union address was broadcast from the floor of the House, which was then livestreamed on Trump’s reelection campaign Facebook page and Twitter feed. New donors were encouraged to make a campaign contribution in exchange for having their names listed in a crawl at the bottom of the screen.”
This is not the first time that Trump has used his office of President for personal gain or the first time he has turned a national institution into something tawdry. This time, however, Paul Ryan may pay the price for his complacency in Trump’s effort to pimp the presidency.
Robert Weissman, Public Citizen president, called them both out saying, “This blatant selling of the presidency also appears to violate rules, which is why we are filing today’s complaint. Putting donors’ names on the screen essentially says, ‘This presidency is brought to you by Goldman Sachs, Dow Chemical, Koch Industries and Murray Energy.’”
Read more about the call for Ryan to be investigated, “Watchdog requests investigation of Paul Ryan for allowing Trump to use State of the Union feed for fundraising” written by David Edwards for Raw Story and published on January 31, 2018.