- The Washington Times - Monday, January 9, 2017

The White House blasted Senate Republicans Monday for “rubber-stamping” the nominees of President-elect Donald Trump before the government completes ethics reviews for some of the appointees.

“It does appear now that Republicans in the Senate are forming their own ‘cheap suit’ caucus — they are folding and rubber-stamping the nominees of the incoming Trump administration,” said White House press secretary Josh Earnest. “The Republicans in the Senate are failing in their effort to advise and consent.”

He said the Obama administration “never asked for a nominee to get a hearing” until the Office of Government Ethics had completed a review of a candidate’s background. While the office has finished its examination of some of Mr. Trump’s nominees, others will undergo confirmation hearings this week without their ethics reviews completed.

“It sounds like a lot of Americans who voted to drain the swamp aren’t getting what they voted for, even before their guy takes office,” Mr. Earnest said.

But Mr. Obama’s formation of a Cabinet in late 2008 wasn’t without an ethics hurdle. Mr. Obama tapped former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson for Commerce secretary on Dec. 3, 2008, but he withdrew a month later because of a federal grand jury investigation into pay-to-play allegations.

The Justice Department decided later in 2009 not to seek indictments.

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