Juliet Eilperin and Jack Gillum at WP:
Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson allowed his son to help organize an agency “listening tour” in Baltimore last summer despite warnings from department lawyers that doing so risked violating federal ethics rules, according to internal documents and people familiar with the matter.
Career officials and political appointees raised concerns days before the visit that Carson’s son, local businessman Ben Carson Jr., and daughter-in-law were inviting people with whom they potentially had business dealings, the documents show.
Carson Jr. put people he’d invited in touch with his father’s deputies, joined agency staff on official conference calls about the listening tour and copied his wife on related email exchanges, according to emails.
“I expressed my concern that this gave the appearance that the Secretary may be using his position for his son’s private gain,” Linda M. Cruciani, HUD’s deputy general counsel for operations, wrote in a July 6 memo, describing her reaction upon learning of Carson Jr.’s involvement from other staff members.
The two-page memo, obtained by The Washington Post under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), details conference calls and meetings that Cruciani and her colleagues had with Carson, his son and other senior HUD officials to urge that Carson Jr. not be involved in the listening tour, an event intended to give the secretary a chance to see federally supported housing projects firsthand and to convey his policy vision to the public.
Our book says that the 2016 election was a Coen Brothers version of the 1992 election, featuring a slightly scrambled cast of characters: a Bush, a Clinton, a bombastic billionaire. The pattern continues. During the Bush 41 administration, Paul Manafort got into trouble over a HUD scandal. Paul Manafort is now in deeper trouble, and there is a HUD scandal, though the two things are not directly connect.
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