Published: Sat, July 08, 2017
Medical | By Garry George

The office of government ethics director is resigning

The office of government ethics director is resigning

Shaub had openly called on the president to do more to avoid conflicts of interest.

Many people have been commenting on Shaub's twitter post thanking him for his service.

He told The Washington Post he wasn't leaving under pressure but "it's clear that there isn't more I could accomplish".

"It's become clear to me that changes are needed to strengthen the executive branch ethics program", Shaub said Thursday.

In a statement, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) termed Shaub's resignation "a sad day for the government's ethics program" and thanked Shaub for his "strong, independent and steady leadership".

While unsuccessful in changing Trump's policy, he did gain a reputation as someone willing to stand up for what's right. He said he will work from the outside to strengthen an executive branch ethics program that is created to help thousands of federal employees avoid conflicts of interest. His term was set to expire in January 2018.

Washington's top ethics watchdog, who has repeatedly clashed with the Trump administration over conflicts of interest, is throwing in the towel early.

Walter Shaub Jr., director of the Office of Government Ethics, said he'll resign later this month.

Shaub has had a fraught relationship with the administration in the months since.

In a statement, Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., promised Democrats would closely scrutinize Trump's selection to replace Shaub. Shaub also stated that he will be "broadening my focus to include ethics issues at all levels of government".

The ethics office and the White House kept trading barbs. "Shaub and OGE have been a bulwark in holding Trump and his administration accountable on ethics", Norman Eisen, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institute and former ethics czar for the Obama administration, explains to Teen Vogue.

"Brilliant! Divestiture is good for you, good for America!" one tweet read.

Pleasantries of the letter aside, Shaub's resignation is its own form of resistance. Internal OGE emails later released through public information requests showed that Shaub himself had drafted the notes and directed that they be sent.

Even before Trump's inauguration, Shaub took issue with the billionaire president-elect about whether Trump appropriately divested from his global property empire. When presidential counselor Kellyanne Conway endorsed Ivanka Trump's clothing line and told people to "go buy [her] stuff on "Fox & Friends" in February, Shaub argued that Trump's refusal to take action was indicative of a deep lack of commitment to common ethical standards".

Federal rules prohibit executive branch employees from endorsing products.

The White House ultimately opted not to discipline Conway.

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