- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 6, 2017

Walter M. Shaub Jr., director of the U.S. Office of Government Ethics, resigned Thursday after months of clashing with the White House, saying he could more effectively work on those matters from the outside.

Mr. Shaub turned in his resignation to President Trump, saying that he was grateful to serve in the role. He is an attorney, and has accepted a job at the Campaign Legal Center, a nonprofit group in Washington, D.C.

“The current situation has made it clear that the ethics program needs to be stronger than it is. At the Campaign Legal Center, I’ll have more freedom to push for reform,” he told NPR.

The CLC said in a statement that Mr. Shaub will “expand the capacity of CLC’s ethics program, which has a long track record of holding accountable government officials on both sides of the political aisle.”

Mr. Shaub did not tell the outlet what he meant by “current situation,” but he has made his criticism of Mr. Trump known, publicly saying in January that he “doesn’t meet the standards” of past presidents when it comes to conflicts of interest.

Rep. Elijah E. Cummings of Maryland, ranking Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, said that he wants Mr. Shaub to testify before his committee about his time at the Ethics department.

“I urge Chairman [Trey] Gowdy to invite Director Shaub to testify before our Committee about the lessons he has learned while leading OGE, including the need to implement substantive reforms to ensure government officials can never put private gain above the public that they serve,” Mr. Cummings said in a statement.

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer said in a statement that Democrats look forward to “thoroughly examining” Mr. Trump’s nominee, but said they wanted someone who was committed to “draining the swamp.”

“The next Director of the Office of Government Ethics must demonstrate that they are committed to actually draining the swamp and ensuring administration officials are not using their positions for personal gain,” Mr. Schumer said in the statement.

Common Cause President Karen Hobert Flynn also voiced her concerns about Mr. Shaub’s resignation, saying it contained echoes of Mr. Trump’s firings of the FBI director and the acting attorney general.

Shaub may not have been fired like James Comey and Sally Yates, but his departure, after a number of high-profile confrontations with the White House, is part of a disturbing pattern from an Administration that views ethics compliance and the public’s right to know what is happening within government, as unnecessary hindrances,” she said in a statement.

Mr. Shaub’s last day is set for July 19, according to his letter.

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