Sunday, January 8, 2017

U.S. Ethics Office Struggled to Gain Access to Trump Team, Emails Show

The office tasked with overseeing ethics and conflicts in the federal government struggled to gain access to leaders of the Trump transition team, and warned Trump aides about making decisions on nominees or blind trusts without ethics guidance, according to new emails obtained by MSNBC. 
Office of Government Ethics Director Walter Shaub emailed Trump aides in November to lament that despite his office's repeated outreach, "we seem to have lost contact with the Trump-Pence transition since the election." 
Trump aides may also be risking "embarrassment for the President-elect," Shaub warned, by "announcing cabinet picks" without letting the ethics office review their financial information in advance.
The perils for White House staff were even more severe, Shaub argued, because they might begin their jobs without crucial ethics guidance, raising a risk of inadvertently breaking federal rules. 
"They run the risk of having inadvertently violated the criminal conflicts of interest restriction at 18 USC 208," Shaub wrote, citing a federal conflicts law in an email to Trump Transition aide Sean Doocey.  Read full story here 

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