Trump’s cabinet confirmations potentially rushing through ethics reviews, according to ethics officials

A tweet from Sen. Elizabeth Warren arguing for the case that confirmation hearings of cabinet picks is being rushed.

Casey McAnarney , Editor in Chief

As President-elect Donald Trump prepares for his first day in office, one thing he has to carefully consider is who will follow him to Washington for his cabinet. These 21 individuals will represent the executive departments and will either be accepted or denied by the new incoming Senate, which convened Jan. 3rd.

However, some have found that the current process of confirmation for these positions is being hurried along. In an article for CBS News, Reena Flores wrote that “a federal ethics watchdog agency” is troubled with the speed in which the ethics reviews and confirmations of the candidates for cabinet positions are taking place.

The article quotes a letter sent to Senate Democrats from the Office of Government Ethics in which the director, Walter Shaub Jr., warned that “the schedule of Cabinet hearings created ‘undue pressure on OGE’s staff and agency ethics officials to rush through these important reviews.’”

The letter also discussed how this possibly has left nominees with “potentially unknown or unresolved ethics issues,” which is something Shaub said he is not aware of occurring over the existence of OGE.

Some politicians have shown their discontent with the matter, with Senator Elizabeth Warren calling for a delay of the hearings via her Twitter account. One of her tweets read, “noms can’t drag their feet on ethics paperwork while their Senate friends try to run out the clock.”

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer even pulled out a letter written in 2009 by Kentucky Republican Senator and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, in which he called for the proper vetting of cabinet candidates under the Obama administration.

Schumer made the case that Republicans were not fans of rushing the cabinet confirmation hearings then, so why can they not slow down now?

However, in 2009 when Obama’s candidates were up for confirmation, all had been seen by this point in the year. So McConnell argued that Schumer’s attempts with the letter were moot.

The work by the OGE also has not always come before a committee hearing. Jessica Taylor of NPR said how under George W. Bush, nominee for Secretary of Education Rod Paige had the proper paperwork submitted by OGE “over a week” after his hearing.

In the meantime, “nine of Trump’s cabinet picks are set to undergo confirmation hearings this week, five of which will be on the same day,” according to Laura Barron-Lopez of The Huffington Post.

If you would like to know more about each individual cabinet candidate, The Washington
Post has an updated list on Trump’s picks as well as information on each.