Top ethics officer challenges Trump over secret waivers for ex-lobbyists

The New York Times reports: The federal government’s top ethics officer is challenging the Trump administration’s issuance of secret waivers that allow former lobbyists to handle matters they recently worked on, setting up a confrontation between the ethics office and President Trump.

The move by Walter M. Shaub Jr., the director of the Office of Government Ethics, is the latest sign of rising tension between Mr. Shaub and the Trump White House. Mr. Shaub has tried several times to use his limited powers to force Mr. Trump to broadly honor federal ethics rules as well as the ethics order that Mr. Trump himself signed in late January.

Historically, the Office of Government Ethics — a tiny operation that has just 71 employees but that supervises an ethics program covering 2.7 million civilian executive branch workers — has maintained a low profile. Created in 1978 after the Watergate scandal, it does not have subpoena power or its own investigators. [Continue reading…]

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