Carper Statement on Efforts to Intimidate Head of Independent Federal Ethics Agency

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), a senior member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, released the following statement criticizing comments his colleagues have made about Walter Shaub, Director of the independent, nonpartisan Office of Government Ethics.

“Instead of engaging in partisan scraping that attempts to cast a shadow on Walter Shaub, who has served in both Republican and Democratic administrations, we as members of Congress should be focused on how our President-elect has no plan to resolve his massive conflicts of interest before assuming the highest office in our country.

“Every President-elect over the past forty years, regardless of political party, has heeded the advice of independent, nonpartisan ethics officials to avoid conflicts of interest before assuming the presidency. This is done to ensure our presidents comply with the U.S. Constitution, as well as to guarantee that the American public will be his only focus while in the Oval Office.

“In a press conference earlier this week, President-elect Trump stood next to a large stack of file folders to give the appearance that he had addressed the conflicts of interest that will arise from being president while continuing to own a financial interest in a vast array of businesses and global real estate holdings.

“Well, appearances can be deceiving. 

“In fact, President-elect Trump did the exact opposite of what the independent, nonpartisan OGE recommended. He will not be divesting his assets. He will not sell or turn over control of his businesses to a blind trust. President-elect Trump is steering the presidency into unchartered waters by refusing to eliminate these conflicts of interest. The independent, nonpartisan OGE is just that: independent and nonpartisan. We need everyone there, especially Director Shaub, to keep doing their jobs without implicit or explicit threats from Congress.”