In Washington, D.C., the government’s top ethics watchdog abruptly resigned Thursday, months before his term was set to expire in January. Walter Shaub Jr. said he’ll leave his post as head of the Office of Government Ethics later this month and will take a job at a nonpartisan campaign finance reform group. Shaub told reporters he wasn’t pressured to resign, though he frequently clashed with the White House over his demands that President Trump divest from his vast business holdings. This is Walter Shaub, speaking in January about President Trump’s move to put his holdings into a trust operated by his adult sons.
Walter Shaub Jr.: “This is not a blind trust. It’s not even close. I think Politico called this a ‘half-blind’ trust, but it’s not even halfway blind. The only thing it has in common with a blind trust is the label ‘trust.’ His sons are still running the business, and, of course, he knows what he owns.”
After announcing his resignation, Walter Shaub said the Office of Government Ethics is ill-equipped to prevent conflicts of interest, telling NPR News, “The current situation has made it clear that the ethics program needs to be stronger than it is.” Shaub’s resignation opens the door for President Trump to name a replacement, pending confirmation by the Senate.