Office of Government Ethics Director Steps Down

By: Kayla Pasacreta

Walter Shaub, photo via  New York Times

Walter Shaub, photo via New York Times

Walter Shaub, director of the Office of Government Ethics appointed by President Obama in 2013, announced his resignation via Twitter this morning. This comes after constant clashes with the Trump administration. According to the Department of Ethics, their goal is to prevent "conflicts of interest in the Executive Branch". With Trump being such an unconventional President with many business interests from his personal brand, this has posed quite a challenge. 

In his words with NPR this morning, Shaub explained his decision, "the current situation has made it clear that the ethics program needs to be stronger than it is. At the Campaign Legal Center, I'll have more freedom to push for reform. I'll also be broadening my focus to include ethics issues at all levels of government." Shaub went onto to say that with the current administration, there is not "much more" he can do. 

 Shaub has been vocal about how the necessity of Trump to separate from his businesses. At Brookings Institution, Shaub insisted, "His sons are still running the businesses, and, of course, he knows what he owns." Shaub notably put a lot of pressure on Trump to separate his businesses from his presidency. The Office of Government Ethics is also known for expressing discontent with spokeswoman to the President, Kellyane Conway, for using her position to promote Ivanka Trump's clothing line. The Government of Ethics  was disappointed with the Trump Administration for providing no consequences to Conway for the violation of ethics, "Not taking disciplinary action against a senior official under such circumstances risks undermining the ethics program." Shaub believed that the Trump administration needed to start doing ethics training.

Shaub's resignation is not too startling, but is surely yet another sign of tensions and disorder within the Trump Administration.