One of Trump's Biggest Thorns Is Going Away

Walter Shaub is resigning from the Office of Government Ethics
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 6, 2017 1:25 PM CDT
Ethics Watchdog Leaving After Clashes With Trump
Walter Shaub in a file photo.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Typically, the resignation of the director of the Office of Government Ethics wouldn't generate many headlines, but this year is a little different. Walter Shaub has had an unusually high-profile role over the past six months, so much so that the Washington Post reports he's attained "near-cult status" among critics of President Trump. Shaub announced Thursday that he's stepping down from his five-year term six months early, though he said he wasn't pressured to do so. "It's clear that there isn't more I could accomplish," said Shaub, who has clashed with Trump publicly. His agency first made news at the end of November with a series of tweets, mimicking Trump's own style, urging the president to fully divest from his business. When Trump stopped short of that, Shaub called his action "wholly inadequate."

Another notable disagreement came when the OGE said Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway should be disciplined for plugging Ivanka Trump's business during an interview. The White House opted not to do so. Shaub is leaving to take a senior position at the Campaign Legal Center, where he intends to advocate for stronger government ethics, reports the New York Times. "OGE's recent experiences made it clear that the ethics program needs to be strengthened," he said. Trump will get to appoint the next director to a five-year term, an appointment that will need Senate approval, notes Politico. (Read more Office of Government Ethics stories.)

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