Government Ethics Chief Resigns To Spend More Time With Anyone Not Named Trump
We will miss your badassedness, Mr. Shaub
Walter Shaub, the director of the Office of Government Ethics, finally had his fill of Donald Trump, the Trump family, Donald Trump's shady excuses for ethics, Trump's shady businesses, the Trump family businesses, or pretty much anything with a T and ending with an ump, and has submitted his resignation effective
goddamn immediately July 19. Shaub, who has been trying to get Trump to conform to even the most rudimentary of ethical standards since Trump arrived in Washington, finally got tired of being the canary in the ethics coal mine, so he cheeped one last time and keeled right over:
That was a pretty nice letter, considering all he could have said. Hell, he's been saying it all along, for all the good it's done. He called -- repeatedly -- for Trump to divest himself from his businesses and place his non-Trump-branded assets in a truly blind trust. He pointed out that, no, it's really not the job of White House advisers to plug Ivanka's crap clothing line. He is apparently going to spend at least the first few days after leaving the Office of Government Ethics at a dermatology clinic, having the imprints of a brick wall smoothed out of his forehead.
Shaub told the Washington Post that he had not left under any pressure from the White House or the Trump administration, and if there's anyone whose word on that we'd trust, he just resigned. As the Washington Post put it (rather delicately, we'd say),
But the ethics chief said he felt that he had reached the limit of what he could achieve in this administration, within the current ethics framework.
“It’s clear that there isn’t more I could accomplish,” he said.
Ever the gentleman, Shaub apparently got through the interview without using the word "weasels" even once. He'll be taking a job as senior director of ethics at a good-government nonprofit, the Campaign Legal Center, where he can work with people who don't hiss and spit ichor at the mention of the word "ethics." He said his goal in the new job will be to seek "bipartisan solutions" in state and federal government ethics programs.
“In working with the current administration, it has become clear that we need to strengthen the ethics program,” he said.
It's sort of a fun exercise to read the WaPo story on Shaub's resignation aloud and follow each paragraph with, "Yeah, ya THINK?"
Shaub resigned with six months left in his term; the acting director of the OGE is likely to be the office's chief of staff, Shelley Finlayson, unless President Trump appoints an interim director while he chooses a permanent replacement. Maybe Jared could do it.
It's not clear who's on Trump's short list to be the next director of Government Ethics; top candidates so far include Jack Abramoff, Bernie Madoff, former BP CEO Tony "I Just Want My Life Back" Heyward, Jim Bakker, Niccolo Machiavelli, Vlad the Impaler, and Actual Josef Mengele. (We left Chris Christie off the list, because who'd even believe that?)
Asked for comment on the resignation, White House staff had no immediate comment, or if they did, it couldn't be heard over the sounds of loud lounge music, exhilarated whoops, and champagne corks popping.
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