Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Office of Government Ethics wants to know about any ethics waivers for Trump appointees

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Alexander Mallin reports on ABC News:

The Office of Government Ethics has sent a letter to the White House and all executive branch agency heads asking for copies of any waivers that the Trump administration may have granted to appointees exempting them from ethics rules.

The letter requests any waivers granted by the White House to appointees be provided to the government ethics office, an independent government agency, by June 1.

The administration has the authority to grant ethics waivers to appointees.

The Office of Government Ethics director, Walter Shaub, said in an interview that the Obama administration similarly granted waivers. But he said the prior administration’s waivers were given “under a narrow set of circumstances” and were posted publicly on the Office of Government Ethics’ website.

The ethics office is an independent watchdog overseeing compliance of ethics rules inside the executive branch, and early on was a thorn in the side of the White House after raising alarm over President Trump‘s refusal to divest from his business empire.

Since then, the OGE has been tasked with assisting the Trump Administration’s officials address any potential conflicts of interest so they’re able to serve in positions without creating the appearance of using public office for private gain.

But the New York Times reported in mid-April that in at least two instances, the Trump administration “secretly issued” waivers exempting officials from ethics rules. One case, as the New York Times reported, involved Trump’s top energy adviser Michael Catanzaro, who worked as a lobbyist on behalf of oil and gas companies until late last year before taking his current post where he advises on issues that would have a direct implication on his former clients. . .

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Written by LeisureGuy

1 May 2017 at 10:32 am

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