Saturday, January 7, 2017

Ethics Office: don't rush Senate confirmation hearings

 The Hill: Office of Government Ethics warns about premature confirmation hearing

Threats to the rule of law are starting early.  In their eagerness to move their agenda  the Senate majority has scheduled hearings on cabinet nominees  to take place before the President-Elect has taken office.   Majority leader McConnell has acted even though they are not yet nominees because Donald Trump is still President-elect and has no power to make nominations.

In a sternly worded letter Walter Shaub - Director of the U.S.  Office of Government Ethics - warns Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell that confirmation hearings may not precede certification of financial disclosure reports by the OPE that it has completed its review of the finances of a Presidential nominee.The Ethics in Government Act establishes a requirement that covered nominees to Presidentially-appointed, Senate-confirmed positions must obtain OGE's certification of their financial disclosure reports.  The contents of such reports are specified in 5 U.S.C. 102. The incumbent President, Vice President and Members of Congress are excepted at 5 U.S.C. 101(f)

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