Wednesday, 8 February 2017

A Law Unto Himself

The Independent reports that Donald Trump is riding roughshod over America's ethics watchdog (Office of Government Ethics) which has worked with effectively with Republican and Democrat Presidents since it was first established in 1978.

Trump seems to delight in tearing up the rulebook, but in this case the rules exist to protect the people from powerful people and politicians becoming a law unto themselves.

Donald Trump warned over 'unprecedented' plan to appoint cabinet without ethics office checks, emails reveal

Disclosed emails from the head of the ethics office warn President aides staffing a cabinet with robust oversight is a 'tradition evolved as a result of hard lessons'

By Chloe Farand - The Independent
Picture: Win McNamee / Getty Images)

Donald Trump was warned by the US government's ethics watchdog that his “unprecedented” approach to recruiting his cabinet "created a risk" for him and his staff, but he did not do anything about it, newly released emails have revealed.

The Office of Government Ethics (OGE) attempted to coordinate with the new President's transition team, but it did not engage despite the warning.

Emails obtained via a freedom of information request by NBC News, show that shortly after Mr Trump was elected, the director of the OGE, Walter Shaub, wrote to Mr Trump’s top lawyer Don McGhan, who now serves as White House counsel.

He warned him that announcing the cabinet without coordinating with the OGE, was taking “a risk”.

"I am not sure whether you are aware that announcing the cabinet without first coordinating with OGE is unprecedented” Mr Shaub wrote, adding that it created "unnecessary risk for both the President-elect and the prospective nominees.”