Ethics

Oversight Chairman Skipped Meeting With Official He Threatened

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz threatened to subpoena Office of Government Ethics director Walter Shaub last week if Shaub did not agree to participate in an interview concerning despot-elect Donald Trump's conflicts of interest.

The idea that Shaub is in some way unwilling to speak to Chaffetz is clearly a misnomer, however, as evidenced by public records that show Chaffetz skipped a meeting with Shaub last month.

[It] was Chaffetz who missed a previously discussed meeting in early December, according to Office of Government Ethics emails The Huffington Post obtained via a Freedom of Information Act request. And the ethics office now says the congressman is trying to keep an upcoming meeting — proposed for Jan. 23 — closed to the public.

M.J. Henshaw, a spokeswoman for the House oversight committee, declined to comment on the emails and Chaffetz’s statements to reporters.

While Shaub wants his next meeting with Chaffetz to be public, Chaffetz wants to keep it private for reasons that should be obvious.

It's a lot easier to deceive and mislead the public by keeping interviews private. Darrel Issa, Jason Chaffetz, and the rest of the Benghazi Inquisition conducted the overwhelming majority of their interviews privately to avoid spilling the fact that they found nothing. Issa, Chaffetz, and Benghazi Committee chairman Trey Gowdy selectively leaked partial transcripts from their private interviews to give the impression that they found something worth investigating.

They never did.

  • Christopher Foxx

    Shaub should refuse to be interviewed in private.

  • Aynwrong

    I think we’re witnessing the beginnings of what we will be the largest, widest most aggressive power grab in modern American history. These people are not going to let a silly little thing like ethics stand in their way.

    What Chaffetz did was fire a warning shot across the bow. Any one who tries to hold the “Grand Nagus” accountable is going to be treated to raw McCarthyism.

  • muselet

    Donald Trump wants to monetize his presidency, so as far as he’s concerned, there are no conflicts of interest and therefore no reason for him to do more than hand day-to-day operations of his companies to his spawn.

    Walter Shaub sees Trump’s conflicts of interest as a matter of no little concern and puts public pressure on the president-elect in an attempt to get him to realize those conflicts are unacceptable.

    Jason Chaffetz very publicly threatens Shaub and the Office of Government Ethics for daring to say anything unflattering about The Dear Leader.

    Only one person is acting responsibly in this, and it’s not either elected official. Make of that what you will.

    –alopecia

    • Dread_Pirate_Mathius

      It’s disconcerting how dangerous it’s becoming to talk negatively about Trump.

      It feel… ominous.