Justice Department probes Calif. Republican Rep. Hunter

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Justice Department is investigating California Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter for possible campaign finance violations, an allegation the lawmaker dismisses as inadvertent mistakes. The House Ethics Committee has been investigating allegations that Hunter improperly used campaign funds to pay for tens of thousands of dollars in personal expenses, such as trips to Hawaii and Italy and tuition for Hunter's school-age children.

On ethics of advisers' China deals, Trump goes case by case

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Anthony Scaramucci announced to the world in January that he would be leaving Wall Street for the White House to become President Donald Trump's top public liaison. Not long after, Scaramucci was told by Trump's chief of staff that the sale of his hedge fund -- a deal that includes a well-known Chinese conglomerate -- raised too many ethics issues for him to start work immediately. Scaramucci never left New York.

Ousted national security adviser didn't sign ethics pledge

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Donald Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn did not sign a mandatory ethics pledge ahead of his forced resignation in February, raising questions about the White House's commitment to the lobbying and ethics rules it imposed as part of the president's promise to "drain the swamp." Flynn "didn't have the opportunity to sign it," said Price Floyd, a spokesman for the retired Army general.

New Trump hotels face political fights, ethics questions

NEW YORK (AP) -- You might have expected the Trump Organization to tap the brakes on expansion plans given all the criticism over potential conflicts of interest while its owner sits in the Oval Office. It's hitting the accelerator instead. The company owned by President Donald Trump is launching a chain of new hotels with plans to open in cities large and small across the country.

First daughter Ivanka Trump gets West Wing office

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Cementing her role as a powerful White House influence, Ivanka Trump is working out of a West Wing office and will get access to classified information, though she is not technically serving as a government employee, according to an attorney for the first daughter.

The Latest: Courson suspended after ethics indictment

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- The Latest on Sen. John Courson's indictment on ethics charges (all times local): 4 p.m. One of South Carolina's longest-serving senators has been suspended following ethics charges tied to Republican powerbroker Richard Quinn. Prosecutor David Pascoe announced Friday a State Grand Jury indicted Sen. John Courson of Columbia on misconduct in office and using campaign donations for personal expenses. All three charges are tied to Courson's payments to Quinn's firm. Lt.

33-year veteran Sen. John Courson indicted on ethics charges

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- One of South Carolina's longest-serving senators has been indicted on ethics charges tied to veteran Republican powerbroker Richard Quinn. Solicitor David Pascoe, the prosecutor investigating Statehouse corruption, announced Friday that a state grand jury indicted Republican Sen. John Courson of Columbia on misconduct in office and using campaign donations for personal expenses. All three charges are tied to Courson's payments to Quinn's political consulting firm.

The Latest: UN leader: Peace in Syria 'cannot wait'

BEIRUT (AP) -- The Latest on the developments in Syria and peace talks that have been extended in Kazakhstan (all times local): 9:15 p.m. U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says peace in Syria is "a moral and political imperative" that "cannot wait" as the country's civil war starts its seventh year. In a statement on the war's anniversary Wednesday, Guterres called for the parties to "make the most of" a cease-fire that began Dec.

Agriculture nominee to distance himself from businesses

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Agriculture secretary nominee Sonny Perdue says he will step down from several positions at companies bearing his name, restructure family trusts and create blind trusts to avoid a conflict of interest if he is confirmed. In a written agreement with a government ethics agency, the former Georgia governor said he will also step down from positions at the National Grain and Feed Association and the Georgia Agribusiness Council.

Senator asks ethics office to assess Trump's foreign deals

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Democratic Sen. Bob Casey asked a government ethics office Monday to assess whether President Donald Trump's business dealings make his administration vulnerable to conflicts of interest. "President Trump has exposed his administration to possible conflicts of interest on an unprecedented scale," the Pennsylvania lawmaker says in a letter to the Office of Government Ethics.

The Latest: Trump intends to donate salary, spokesman says

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Latest on President Donald Trump (all times local): 1:58 p.m. The White House press secretary says President Donald Trump will donate his presidential salary at the end of the year. And he says the president wants the media's help deciding where the money will go. Trump had said during the campaign that he planned to donate his $400,000 annual salary to charity.

White House submits some paperwork for agriculture secretary

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The White House has submitted nomination paperwork for agriculture secretary pick Sonny Perdue -- more than seven weeks after President Donald Trump nominated him. The Senate Agriculture Committee received the nomination on Thursday. But it still doesn't have Perdue's ethics paperwork or FBI background check. That's according to a spokeswoman for Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow, the panel's top Democrat. The forms are necessary to schedule a confirmation hearing.

The Latest: Ethics office disagrees with White House

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Latest on President Donald Trump (all times local): 3:00 p.m. The Office of Government Ethics disagrees with a White House belief that government ethics rules don't apply to executive branch employees. In a letter to the Republican and Democratic House Oversight leaders, OGE Director Walter Shaub writes that the White House ignored his recommendation to discipline counselor Kellyanne Conway for promoting Ivanka Trump's fashion line in a TV appearance.

China grants preliminary approval to 38 new Trump trademarks

SHANGHAI (AP) -- China has granted preliminary approval for 38 new Trump trademarks, a move that offers a potential business foothold for President Donald Trump's family company and protects his name in a country notorious for counterfeiters. The trademarks cover everything from hotels and golf clubs to bodyguard and concierge services, public documents show.

Steve Hamm named interim director of Ethics Commission

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- The former director of the South Carolina Consumer Affairs Department has been named as interim director of the state ethics commission. The Post and Courier of Charleston reported (http://bit.ly/2naHtks ) that Steve Hamm has been named to replace Herb Hayden, who retired last year. The ethics commission rules on complaints against candidates and elected officials.

Trump hotel is the place to be in the nation's capital

WASHINGTON (AP) -- At a circular booth in the middle of the Trump International Hotel's balcony restaurant, President Donald Trump dined on his steak -- well-done, with ketchup -- while chatting with British Brexit politician Nigel Farage. A few days later, major Republican donors Doug Deason and Doug Manchester, in town for the president's address to Congress, sipped coffee at the hotel with Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif.

Trump hotel may be political capital of the nation's capital

WASHINGTON (AP) -- At a circular booth in the middle of the Trump International Hotel's balcony restaurant, President Donald Trump dined on his steak -- well-done, with ketchup -- while chatting with British Brexit politician Nigel Farage. A few days later, major Republican donors Doug Deason and Doug Manchester, in town for the president's address to Congress, sipped coffee at the hotel with Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif.

6 weeks later, senators question delay on agriculture pick

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Donald Trump picked former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue to be his agriculture secretary six weeks ago, but the administration still hasn't formally provided the Senate with the paperwork for the nomination. The delay is frustrating farm-state senators, who represent many of the core voters responsible for helping elect Trump. The Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee needs the paperwork before the chairman, Sen. Pat Roberts, can schedule a confirmation hearing.

The Latest: Zinke sworn in as interior secretary

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Latest on President Donald Trump (all times local): 6:25 p.m. Ryan Zinke (ZIN'-kee) has been sworn in as interior secretary, giving him oversight of 400 million acres of public land, most of it in the West. Vice President Mike Pence administered the oath of office on Wednesday, hours after the Senate confirmed President Donald Trump's nomination of Zinke by a vote of 68-31.