Center for Public Integrity: Steve Bannon has a shadow press office. It may violate federal law.
In an arrangement prominent ethics experts say is without precedent and potentially illegal, the White House is referring questions for senior presidential adviser Stephen K. Bannon to an outside public relations agent whose firm says she is working for free.
Even if Preate's services were to be viewed as simply a gift, and not salary supplementation, they could still violate executive branch ethics rules that bar government employees from accepting gifts from outside sources, said Brendan Fischer, who leads the federal ethics and election law reform project at the nonprofit Campaign Legal Center.
"There's a more general executive branch prohibition on accepting gifts that seems to apply here," Fischer said in an interview.