Walter Shaub, who runs the Office of Government Ethics, has made quite a bit of noise over the last month regarding President-elect Donald Trump, his business holdings, and the people he’s chosen to populate his executive Cabinet. Over the weekend, the office released a statement condemning the Republicans for rushing the confirmation hearings, telling lawmakers that they needed more time to properly vet members up for Cabinet positions.
But according to the conservative group America Rising, Shaub’s protests have less to do with ethics and more to do with his political beliefs. In an interview with Fox News, the PAC’s rapid response director criticized Shaub for his lack of interest in Hillary Clinton’s unethical and illegal behavior.
“Walter Shaub gave Hillary Clinton a complete free pass on her unethical activity, especially her lucrative paid speeches,” Scott Sloofman told Fox News. “His outburst over the weekend reeks of partisan politics from an embittered Democrat still reeling from November’s election result.”
The PAC claims that the Office of Government Ethics demonstrated “utter incompetence” when asked by House Republicans to verify then-Secretary of State Clinton’s income. In a 2015 House Oversight Committee hearing, Shaub told Republican lawmakers that his office was not compelled to disclose the requested material.
From Fox News:
At the time of the Clinton questions, Republicans complained Clinton had not disclosed compensation for at least five speeches that was then sent to the Clinton Foundation between 2014 and 2015. They pressed the OGE for answers, but Shaub told the House oversight committee the funds were not required to be disclosed.
Shaub’s statement this weekend gave ammunition to Democrats, who are very interested in slowing Trump’s confirmation hearings to a crawl. Sen. Chuck Schumer, the Senate Minority Leader, referred to the letter in a statement this week calling on the GOP to put the brakes on.
“The Senate and American people deserve to know that these cabinet nominees have a plan to avoid any conflicts of interest, that they’re working on behalf of the American people and not their own bottom line, and that they plan to fully comply with the law,” Schumer said. “Senate Republicans should heed the advice of this independent office and stop trying to jam through unvetted nominees.”
Since then, Republicans have indeed spread the schedule out so that lawmakers will have more time to put nominees through the confirmation process.
In the meantime, we’ll see if Shaub and the ethics office can finish their work without any further public outbursts.