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Office of Government Ethics Director Resigns

Office of Government Ethics Director Resigns

Outgoing ethics director Walter Shaub said in January that President Trump's plan to reduce conflicts of interest "doesn't meet the standards. that every president in the past four decades has met".

Shaub's resignation marks the culmination of a months-long battle between the federal government's top ethics official and President Donald Trump, who once promised to "drain the swamp" of corruption in Washington.

Shaub expressed dissatisfaction with OGE, telling NPR, "The current situation has made it clear that the ethics program needs to be stronger than it is". He condemned Trump's plan as "wholly inadequate".

Trump refused to sell his business holdings as president.

Mr Shaub also pressed unsuccessfully for the White House to punish Mr Trump's Counsellor, Kellyanne Conway, for promoting Ivanka Trump's fashion line.

But now Shaub has had enough. His resignation will be effective as of Wednesday, July 19th.

Shaub still had six months left in his five-year term.

Many Americans have been calling the once-obscure office to report on, or demand action on, ethical issues involving the administration.

"It's become clear to me that changes are needed to strengthen the executive branch ethics program", Shaub said Thursday. He told The Washington Post he was not leaving under pressure.

"The president is now entering a world of public service", Shaub said at the time.

After Shaub spoke out, the ethics office was flooded with media requests. "He succeeded but to the long-term detriment of the office".

The first sign that he would be outspoken with his concerns came on the morning of November 30, when the official OGE Twitter account erupted in a storm of nine tweets sent over three minutes that appeared to mimic Trump's bombastic tweeting style, urging the president-elect to separate himself from his business. Trump's election has put the agency and its leader into the public spotlight. And what happens to OGE? Trump, however, has the authority to appoint a different interim director and can then appoint a new full-time director of his choosing. That has caused a spike in OGE's workload, without an increase in staff. Shaub who led the Federal Office of Government Ethics had on Thursday said that he will step down by the end of July.

Shaub has also been very vocal about Republican congressional shortcomings in following up on ethics issues.

Schumer was referring to the most recent clash between Shaub and the Trump administration over his efforts to gather information about lobbyists and other appointees granted waivers to ethics rules so they could interact with their former employers. But if Trump opts for a more outside-the-box pick, as he's done when filling other government positions, all bets are off. He's going to be asking his own appointees to make sacrifices.



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