Mining giant Elite is under fire from Democrats and some conservatives for its decision to hire a lobbyist who helped lobby on behalf of former President Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump’s clothing line.
Elite announced Thursday that Brian K. McFarland, the CEO of Platinum Mining Corp., would step down after a new report found that he lobbied for Ivanka Trump apparel brand, the Ivanka Trump Collection.
The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Democrats called on Elite to remove McFarlands lobbyist, the son of former Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Calif., who was previously on the board of the Elite Mining Corporation, and said the move shows a lack of ethics and accountability at the company.
“Elite Mining should be embarrassed by its recent hiring of a lobbyist with close ties to Ivanka Trump,” said Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Calif.
“This move will only make the company more desperate to expand its influence in the U.S. Congress.”
The Elite mining company is the latest major mining company to be embroiled in controversies surrounding lobbying.
On Thursday, the company hired former Rep, Michael Caputo, D, N.Y., to serve as the company’s chief lobbyist.
Caputo resigned on Friday.
In a statement, Elite said that McFarlander’s departure was “mutually agreed upon,” adding that the company will conduct a thorough review of its corporate governance and ethics rules.
“We want to make sure our people are doing the right thing, and that everyone knows we will be transparent and accountable to the public,” the company said.
“The new Chief Compliance Officer, Brian K., will be tasked with a major review of Elite’s corporate governance, including our corporate disclosure process.”
The company is also reviewing its ethics policies, including a new disclosure requirement that says it is obligated to disclose all lobbying expenditures.
Eliezer Shklar, an analyst at Forrester Research, said he thought the company would hire a new CEO to help it regain control of the mining business.
But that’s not likely to happen because “the market for mining services is a smaller one,” he said.
Shkilar said the company is likely to face a difficult year and the next election because “people are becoming more aware of the conflict of interest” in its business.
“You have a lot of people in the industry who are very aware of this,” Shkala said.
The Hill reporter David Weigel contributed to this report.