The Office of Government Ethics’ (OGE) website has been crashing for the past few days after spikes in user volume.
The website, www.oge.gov (which is operable as of this writing), first crashed on Thursday and then on Friday, as visitors got the error message, “This site can’t be reached.”
The OGE explained on Twitter that its “website, phone system and email system” have been “receiving an extraordinary volume of contacts from citizens about recent events” and noted that the office “does not have investigative or enforcement authority” in the way Congress, the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the FBI, the Office of Inspector General and the Office of Special Counsel do.
The OGE didn’t specify what the “recent events” may have been, but they were likely comments made by President Trump’s White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, who urged consumers to buy Ivanka Trump’s products following news that department store chain Nordstrom was no longer going to carry the retail line because of weak sales.
“This is just a wonderful line,” Conway told Fox & Friends. “I own some of it. I fully—I’m going to give a free commercial here. Go buy it today, everybody. You can find it online.”
House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), who is responsible for combating corruption in the federal government, says Conway crossed a line and that her endorsement was “wrong, wrong, wrong, clearly over the line, unacceptable,” according to The Associated Press.
Along with the committee’s top Democrat, Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings, Chaffetz asked the Office of Government Ethics to review the matter. He is also planning to write a formal letter to the White House to express his irritation.