Schumer Blasts Chaffetz For Trying To ‘Bully’ Ethics Chief Over Trump Conflicts

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Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) on Friday morning slammed Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), the chair of the House Oversight Committee, over his letter demanding that the director of the Office of Government Ethics sit for an interview with the committee.

“The Republicans are at it again, filling the swamp instead of draining it. First, House Republicans tried to gut the Office of Congressional ethics. Now they’re trying to handcuff the Office of Government ethics. Mr. Chaffetz’s attempt to bully Mr. Shaub out of doing his job are absolutely despicable,” Schumer said in a statement.

Chaffetz sent a letter to Walter Shaub Jr., the director of the Office of Government Ethics, on Thursday criticizing the ethics’ office November tweets about Donald Trump’s plans for avoiding conflicts of interest.

Schumer defended Shaub and scolded Republicans for going after the Office of Government Ethics.

“During his service, which began under Bush and continued under both political parties, Mr. Shaub and the Office of Government ethics have worked diligently and in a nonpartisan way to ensure that the individuals working in our government are serving the American people, not their own bottom line. Few have tried to drain the swamp more than Mr. Shaub, and he did it equally well under Democratic and Republican administrations,” Schumer said.

“House republicans know they’re in a pickle. The President-elect has refused to divest from his business, and has nominated people for cabinet posts who have made billions from the industries they would be charged with regulating, making this office more important than ever,” he added. “Mr. Chaffetz’s attempt to intimidate the office is deplorable, and would be a distraction that would make it harder for OGE to do it’s already difficult job. It is totally out of line when Americans want clean and accountable government. Mr. Chaffetz should instead focus on his job and let Mr. Shaub and OGE focus on theirs.”

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