Office of Government Ethics.
Sounds like an oxymoron, doesn’t it?
Regardless, the OGE is run by a man named Walter Shaub, an Obama-named official who has been hyper-critical of Trump and his incoming administration, particularly as it relates to his business interests that he is slowly divesting himself of and the perceived conflicts of interest.
Therefore, it’s no surprise to see a fair amount of tension between Shaub and President-elect Donald Trump. That being said, he just got slammed with an ultimatum that he’s going to have to heed, or face some pretty severe consequences.
“Rep. Jason Chaffetz, the head of the House Oversight Committee, criticized the director of the federal Office of Government Ethics on Thursday over his criticism of Donald Trump’s plan to address conflicts of interest. And he threatened to subpoena the official, Walter Shaub, if he refuses to participate in an official interview.
‘He seems to be acting prematurely at best, without doing investigations or thorough looks,’ Chaffetz said in an interview. ‘He’s rendering opinions publicly that really cause you to scratch your head. We need the Office of Government Ethics to act ethically. Ironically, that’s not what they’re doing.’”
Chaffetz is particularly troubled by the OGE’s director because he has been using Twitter to publicly announce these criticisms without having had an in-depth look at the plans that he is taking to task.
This is not the first time that Shaub has been in hot water with Chaffetz or other groups that have accused the director of being completely partisan in his decision making. For Chaffetz’s part, he was adamant:
“’We need a fair person behind the plate that’s going to call balls and strikes,’ Chaffetz said. ‘What they’re supposed to do is help work with somebody to comply with the ethics requirements. But when you talk publicly about private conversations, that’s not ethical. And when you refuse to come in and talk to the committee when you’re doing reauthorization, when you start tweeting and issuing press statements on things you never looked at, that shouldn’t be the case at all.’”
As for other organizations, they charge that Shaub is an Obama mouthpiece:
“The OGE director is also under fire from conservative groups over his criticism of Trump and other administration officials. On Twitter, Judicial Watch Chief Tom Fitton said the ethics chief ‘abuses his office, per the Obama way.’ And the conservative super PAC America Rising targeted Shaub, filing Freedom of Information Act requests with his office seeking information that they allege may show it is coordinating with Democrats to smear the Trump administration.
‘The American people deserve to know if Walter Shaub has turned the ethics office into an arm of the Senate Democrats’ campaign of obstruction,’ said America Rising’s Scott Sloofman.”
Chaffetz insists that Shaub will answer questions by the House Oversight Committee, which he is required to do at the start of every new year.
So far, that has not taken place. The fact that Shaub nonchalantly turned a blind eye to the ethics violations of Hillary Clinton when she was charged with not reporting income through the Clinton Foundation has alerted many to the hypocrisy of this man.
Shaub is just another in a long line of Chicago-style thugs that has installed bite to an office that normally has only bark. In this case, the toothless Chihuahua (Shaub) thinks he can take the pit bull (Chaffetz).
My money’s on the pit bull.