The ethics watchdog who has badgered the Trump administration for months about conflicts of interest says he is leaving the federal government.
Walter Shaub, director of the previously little-known Office of Government Ethics, made a name for himself by criticizing the administration repeatedly, most notably over Trump’s refusal to sell his business interests.
He also took presidential aide Kellyanne Conway to task for plugging Ivanka Trump products in a live TV interview, and he raised doubts about ethics waivers that the White House granted to its own employees.
Shaub said on Twitter that he is taking a job at the Campaign Legal Center, a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group for tougher campaign finance laws. In a statement released by the center, Shaub said he would work on ethics reform at all levels of government.
“In working with the current administration, it has become clear to me that we need improvements to the existing ethics program,” he said.
Shaub’s resignation is effective July 19.
The White House said in a statement that it “appreciates his service.”
“The President will be nominating a successor in short order,” the statement said. The ethics director is appointed to a five-year term and needs to be confirmed by the Senate.
Shaub joined the ethics office as a staff attorney early in the George W. Bush administration and has worked there almost every year since. He was appointed as director by President Barack Obama, and his term was supposed to run into 2018.
The ethics office works with executive branch employees to avoid conflicts of interest, though it does not have enforcement power. Before the election, it was mostly unheard of by anyone other than Washington wonks and agency officials.
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SOURCE: CNN, Cristina Alesci and Jill Disis