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Watchdog Demands Investigation On Paul Ryan For Allowing Trump Use SOTU Feed For Campaign Fundraiser

Public Citizen, a public watchdog group, has called on the U.S. Congress to launch an investigation on House Speaker Pual Ryan for allowing Donald Trump to use the State of the Union address to fundraise for his campaign.

Trump was allowed to use the live feed of the SOTU address to promote all the companies that fund his campaign in return for their money.

A statement that was released Wednesday by Public Citizen complained to the House Ethics Committee and Office of Congressional Ethics 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.”

The statement read:

“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 this 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 live-streamed 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.”

Public Citizen President Robert Weissman spoke on the issue as well.

“Donald Trump commercialized and corrupted yet another national institution, making this just the latest disgraceful degradation by Trump of the presidency and our public institutions,” Weissman said. “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.’”

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