When Donald, after avoiding the issue for months, finally addressed the massive conflicts of interest problem created by his presidency, his response was, essentially, “trust me.”
Not surprisingly, this response was widely mocked by ethicists as woefully inadequate. Indeed, the director of the independent Office of Government Ethics, Walter M. Shaub Jr., blasted the plan, and criticized Trump’s refusal to divest from his businesses.
Now, in a move befitting a banana republic, Republican leaders are attacking the Office of Government Ethics, threatening to shut it down. Reports the New York Times: “[t]he Republican chairman of the House Oversight Committee on Thursday issued a…veiled threat of an investigation, to the federal government’s top ethics monitor, who this week had questioned President-elect Donald Trump’s commitment to confront his potential conflicts of interest. ethics office itself.”
The Times article goes on to cite a top ethics official in the George Bush administration, who calls the move by Republicans political retaliation. “They are strong-arming them…They are obviously very upset the Office of Government Ethics is leaning on Trump and not willing to jam through his nominees. It is political retaliation.”