Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Just when you thought the Trump ethics disaster couldn’t get worse, it did; Washington Post, 1/16/17

Richard Painter and Norman Eisen, Washington Post; Just when you thought the Trump ethics disaster couldn’t get worse, it did

"Richard Painter, a professor of law at the University of Minnesota, was the chief White House ethics lawyer from 2005 to 2007 and is vice chair of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. Norman Eisen, a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution, was the chief White House ethics lawyer from 2009 to 2011 and is the chair of CREW...

Priebus also attacked Shaub’s competence, and so his livelihood, questioning “what this person at Government Ethics, what sort of standing he has any more in giving these opinions.” In fact, the director is a dedicated and talented ethicist who has served Democratic and Republican presidents alike with distinction and without controversy for many years. He has already approved 54 percent of the Trump nominees who have submitted their paperwork to OGE, compared with just 29 percent at this point in the Obama transition eight years ago. If the White House chief of staff had made these kinds of threats against the head of OGE when we were serving in the White House, we would have resigned immediately.

We think apologies are due Shaub. In addition, we recommend that Republicans back off of their threats. How about Chaffetz instead publicly affirm the need for the agency and invite Shaub to have a public conversation about that and about Trump’s conflicts with both the majority and minority members of the committee? We are sure that Shaub would accept such an offer and explain to the committee and the public why his concerns about the president-elect’s plan are well founded."

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