CyberScoop: DHS nomination vote postponed again amid ethics violation allegations


A Senate committee vote to approve the nomination of Kirstjen Nielsen as the next secretary of Homeland Security has been postponed a third time amid ethics concerns.


The postponement follows an ethics complaint filed against Nielsen Monday by the nonprofit nonpartisan Campaign Legal Center, regarding her acceptance of voluntary services from nongovernment personnel to help her prepare for her confirmation hearing last week.


Government departments aren’t allowed to accept voluntary work, for the same reason officials cannot accept valuable gifts — because of the risk it might create an obligation that could be repaid with an official act, explained the center’s Brendan Fischer.

“There’s a risk that such work would engender a feeling indebtedness on Nielsen’s part,” Fischer told CyberScoop, noting that DHS handed out $23 billion worth of contracts last year.

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