January 24, 2017

Walter Shaub Receives Bipartisan Condemnation For “Highly Unethical” Actions

Irony is a term that many Americans misuse. Yet Office of Government Ethics Director Walter Shaub’s clinic in irony these last few months should prove instructive. Shaub, as the director of the OGE, is charged with providing “overall leadership” on ethical issues, yet as a bipartisan group of lawmakers said yesterday, Shaub has behaved in a “highly unethical” manner over these last few months. How ironic.

During a closed-door meeting of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Shaub was heavily criticized for the dramatic politicization of his supposedly nonpartisan government agency. Chairman Jason Chaffetz led things off by blasting Shaub for his inappropriate tweets:

“In tweets sent in November, Shaub congratulated Trump for agreeing to divest from his business — an agreement Trump had not yet made. Shaub later issued a scathing review of Trump’s plan to turn over control of his business to his sons. Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz of Utah called Shaub’s Jan. 11 comments ‘highly unethical’ and summoned Shaub to a closed-door meeting.”

Congressman Elijah Cummings (D-MD) echoed Chairman Chaffetz when he censured Shaub’s actions too, going so far as calling them unprofessional:

“Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, the panel’s senior Democrat, said lawmakers from both parties were troubled by Shaub’s initial ‘bravo’ tweets, sent soon after Trump was elected president. ‘When he did that, it didn’t seem professional,’ Cummings said.”

Walter Shaub’s job is to provide ethical leadership. Yet as the Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee stated, he has failed miserably.