January 9, 2017

Obama’s Ethics Director Criticizes Without Credibility

In the last few weeks Walter Shaub, the director of the Office of Government Ethics, has not been quiet in his criticism of the incoming administration. Unsurprisingly, Shaub’s comments have been used by Congressional Democrats to try and score points.

Yet, Shaub’s history as a Democrat and the double standard he employed as head of the OGE, should give the media pause before taking Shaub’s words seriously. This morning the Washington Examiner reported on the politics at play in Shaub’s actions:

“Research into Schaub by America Rising, the GOP research and communications organization, suggests that politics could be at play… America Rising also noted that his office missed Clinton’s lapses while secretary of State. The group cited reports that OGE didn’t push Clinton over receiving high speech fees or potential help to Clinton Foundation donors.”

After all, Shaub donated to President Obama’s 2012 campaign. Even more troublingly, Shaub’s office displayed utter incompetence when they failed to act on the Clintons’ habit of giving secret paid speeches.

After it was uncovered that Hillary Clinton failed to disclose millions in speech income, Congress called on the OGE to provide them with records related to this lapse in oversight. Curiously, the OGE eventually covered for Clinton when they stated that she did not have to disclose the millions in speech income. When Shaub was brought before Congress however, he “struggled to explain” why his office acted in this fashion:

“However, Walter Shaub, director of the Office of Government Ethics, struggled to explain the statute behind Salamone’s assertion during a hearing Dec. 16, simply arguing it was a ‘very long, very detailed’ rule. Pressed later in the hearing to cite the exact statute, Shaub pointed to a rule that actually outlined requirements for officials to report income paid to a charity.”

Also undermining Shaub’s diminishing credibility is the use of the OGE’s Twitter account for what amounts of partisan reasons. FOIA documents obtained by NPR show that Shaub directed the tweets targeting the incoming administration’s conduct:

“New records shared with NPR on Friday show that behind the curious tweets was the head of the OGE himself, Director Walter Shaub Jr. In two emails, dated Nov. 30, just several minutes apart, Shaub sent to OGE Chief of Staff Shelley Finlayson the nine tweets that took the Internet by storm that day. He then followed up with a link to a legal document referenced in one of the tweets and writes: ‘Get all of these tweets posted as soon as humanly possible.’”

Walter Shaub is an Obama appointee with a partisan agenda. His eruptions since Election Day show that beyond a shadow of a doubt.