White House Ethics Oversight Chief Resigns After Clashes With Trump Administration

READ: Walter Shaub Resigns as Director of Ethics Office

READ: Walter Shaub Resigns as Director of Ethics Office

Shaub called for a harsher punishment for presidential adviser Kellyanne Conway after she flouted ethics rules by publicly endorsing Ivanka Trump's clothing line during a television appearance. Shaub said that it had become "clear that there isn't more I could accomplish".

Shaub's office also tussled with the White House over the release of ethics waivers the administration had given its staff.

When Trump World tried to rely on secret waivers to employ corporate lobbyists at key governmental posts, it was Shaub who fought against the policy.

When Trump announced on January 11 that he would retain ownership of his business, merely transferring management to his adult sons Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr., Shaub aired his concerns in an unusually public address at the Brookings Institution. For example, OGE might suggest a White House staffer sell off a business interest or move an asset into a blind trust.

"We can't create the perception that government leaders would use their official positions for profit", Shaub had said days before Trump's inauguration.

Shaub had earlier taken on the Trump administration over the US President's plans that could lead to potential business conflict of interest. But Shaub, a Barack Obama appointee who joined the ethics office as an attorney under the George W. Bush administration, struggled to connect with the Trump transition team after the election.

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Shaub began a rare public campaign in a string of tweets to urge Trump to divest himself of his extensive and far-flung business interests three weeks after Trump won the election.

But he was not fired, even as he continued to spar with Mr. Trump's aides over a range of ethical concerns, including the ethics office's authority to exercise oversight of the White House.

In May, his office sent out a tweet quoting the law that appeared, yet again, to be a message for the president: "Public service is a public trust, requiring employees to place loyalty to the Constitution, the laws and ethical principles above private gain".

In his resignation statement, Shaub appeared to be sending a message to the White House. Shaub shot back, saying that not taking action "risks undermining the ethics program".

"There's no such thing as a retroactive waiver", Shaub said last month, promising to keep pressing the White House on the issue. The Campaing Legal Center is a nonpartisan democracy reform organization based in Washington, D.C., which seeks to improve American democracy and protect the fundamental right of every citizen to participate in the political process.