Chaffetz: No ‘fishing expedition’ over potential Trump conflicts – Politico
The chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee said on Sunday that all the talk of investigating President-elect Donald Trump for potential conflicts of interest is “premature at best.”
“The president-elect hasn’t even been sworn in yet,” Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) said on ABC’s “This Week.” “So, all this flailing about how he’s done everything wrong — it’s a little premature at best.”
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Numerous ethics experts have argued that Trump’s refusal to fully divest himself from his businesses would constitute an immediate conflict of interest when he’s president. But Chaffetz, who led the charge in investigating former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, vouched for the plan proposed by the Trump transition team.
“I do believe that he has set up a plan where the revenue or the profits that are coming to the hotel [in Washington] will be given directly to the Treasury,” he said. “But I’m not going to go on this fishing expedition that they want me to, that the Democrats want me to.”
On Thursday, Chaffetz lashed out at the director of the federal Office of Government Ethics, Walter Shaub, for his criticism of Trump’s plan to address conflicts of interest, even threatening to subpoena the official if he refused to participate in an official interview.
“He seems to be acting prematurely at best, without doing investigations or thorough looks,” Chaffetz said. “He’s rendering opinions publicly that really cause you to scratch your head. We need the Office of Government Ethics to act ethically. Ironically, that’s not what they’re doing.”
The comments drew the ire of Democrats, with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York accusing Chaffetz of “filling the swamp instead of draining it.”