Jared Kushner, son-in-law of Donald Trump has spent months divesting pieces of his vast empire. He has been fined by the Office of Government Ethics for the late reporting of a financial transaction.
Watchdog groups point out that this is a systemic failure on the part of the White House and the Administration. It points to troubling examples of an administration that cares little for the rules and like the president himself, they simply assume the rules don’t apply to them.
With an Example Like Trump, It’s No Wonder They Care Nothing for the Rules
Reince Priebus, the recently ejected Chief of Staff, was four days late. Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was 23 days late. Lest we forget that he gave Omarosa Manigault (reality television ‘star’) a position as director of communication of the Office of Public Liason. She received a 32-day extension and was still 8 days late.
Hardly Draining the Swamp
Far from draining the swamp, Trump instead seems to have filled Washington with gators and snakes and immensely wealthy individuals who care nothing for the rules or ethics.
These people coming in to public service should have the attitude of bending over backwards to ensure…that the public interest is first and foremost in their mind. Confidence in government is largely based on this notion that you don’t have a conflict. – Meredith McGehee, Chief of Policy, Programs and Stategy at Issue One
This is a Systemic Issue that Needs to be Addressed
Lawrence Noble is general counsel of the Campaign Legal Center said, “What I’m concerned about is that it’s a culture. They are not taking it seriously.”
Thirteen white House staffers were given certificates of divestiture by the Office of Government Ethics. This is essentially an order from the Ethics committee to sell off those businesses that present a conflict of interest. The certificate also allows them to defer capital gain taxes.
There are no records that indicate that ten of the thirteen have actually sold anything. Steve Bannon and Kellyanne Conway are among those that haven’t sold a single asset.
President Trump acts like the rules for the rest of us don’t apply to him and now his entire administration is doing the same. – Harrell Kirstein, a spokesman for the Trump War Room at American Bridge 21st Century.
The White House declined to comment. This is not the first run in with the ethics committee. Indeed, Walter Shaub stepped down from his position as director because he was helpless to stop the rampant abuse. Trump has stated his intention to pay Kusher’s $200 fine.