Walter Shaub, Federal Government’s Ethics Watchdog, Is Moving On
Walter Shaub, Federal Government's Ethics Watchdog, Is Moving On
President Trump has paid little attention to federal ethics requirements since he took office and starting today – unfortunately – he’ll probably pay even less.
Walter M. Shaub Jr., who as head of the Office of Government Ethics has stuck his neck out repeatedly to challenge Trump and senior White House staffers on ethical questions, announced today that he’s leaving government for a job at one of Washington’s independent government watchdogs, the Campaign Legal Center.
Shaub challenged the president even before Trump took office in January, urging the incoming chief executive to place his businesses in a blind trust and calling Trump’s plan to transfer management of Trump-owned businesses to his adult sons “wholly inadequate.” In March, he upbraided Kellyanne Conway, a senior Trump adviser, for using a national TV appearance to encourage viewers to buy apparel from a line owned by the president’s daughter, Ivanka.
Shaub insisted today that he wasn’t pushed out the door but said he had concluded he had done as much as he could to advance ethical behavior in the current administration. He hailed federal ethics officials for “protecting the principle that public service is a public trust, requiring employees to place loyalty to the Constitution, the laws, and ethical principles above private gain.”
Shaub’s departure, “after a number of high-profile confrontations with the White House, is part of a disturbing pattern from an administration that views ethics compliance and the public’s right to know what is happening within government, as a unnecessary hindrances,” said Common Cause President Karen Hobert Flynn.
His replacement “must be a recognized leader with an independent voice for open, transparent, ethical, and honest government who is capable of standing up to the Trump Administration when its actions make that necessary,” she added.