In a scathing post on LinkedIn, Justice Department compliance counsel Hui Chen announced her decision to resign last month, saying it was impossible to go after corporate fraud and corruption when President Donald Trump himself was engaging in such practices.
“Trying to hold companies to standards that our current administration is not living up to was creating a cognitive dissonance that I could not overcome,” she wrote.
Chen, a former lawyer for Microsoft and Pfizer who since 2015 was one of the top attorneys in the DOJ’s Fraud Section, said her work began to feel hypocritical and hamstrung as investigations into the Trump administration escalated.
“Even as I engaged in those questioning and evaluations, on my mind were the numerous lawsuits pending against the President of the United States for everything from violations of the Constitution to conflict of interest, the ongoing investigations of potentially treasonous conducts, and the investigators and prosecutors fired for their pursuits of principles and facts,” she wrote. “Those are conducts I would not tolerate seeing in a company, yet I worked under an administration that engaged in exactly those conduct. I wanted no more part in it.”
Chen, who did not immediately respond Monday to TPM’s request for an interview, additionally wrote that she has been “yearning” to campaign for candidates who reflect her values—something she was barred from doing while working at DOJ. Her Facebook page indicated that she stepped up her political activism in recent months, attending protests in front of the White House and the Capitol wearing a hat emblazoned with the word “resist.”
Alice Ollstein is a reporter at Talking Points Memo, covering national politics. She graduated from Oberlin College in 2010 and has been reporting in DC ever since, covering the Supreme Court, Congress and national elections for TV, radio, print, and online outlets. Her work has aired on Free Speech Radio News, All Things Considered, Channel News Asia, and Telesur, and her writing has been published by The Atlantic, La Opinión, and The Hill Rag. She was elected in 2016 as an at-large board member of the DC Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Alice grew up in Santa Monica, California and began working for local newspapers in her early teens.