The weirdest thing about the Trump administration is that its weirdest people are also the most vocal.
This is a true story.
On January 1, 2017, the day after the inauguration, the president’s transition team released a list of “unprecedented demands” on the Office of Government Ethics.
The list included a series of recommendations on how the government should handle ethics matters that would require the OGE to take action.
Among them were a requirement that the Office be “more responsive” to public concerns about government corruption.
But, by then, Trump had already won the election.
So, when the OGA’s Office announced its response to the Trump Administration’s ethics request on February 11, 2017 (just hours before the new administration was sworn in), it had little choice but to be “very careful” in responding.
In a letter, OGE Acting Director Peter Roth said that the agency would “focus on our ethics processes to make sure we are appropriately and appropriately applying the law in a way that promotes public confidence in our Government.”
Roth’s statement also acknowledged that the Trump team’s demand for the OPG to respond to the President’s “unusual demands” was “inappropriate.”
But he also noted that “our response will not be rushed and will not seek to preemptively preempt the OGs enforcement of the law.”
The OGE’s response was, in essence, to be more responsive.
The agency’s response, it was supposed to, be “careful and thorough.”
And it was.
But the response was also so rushed and so thorough that the OIE could only take so many “carefully and thoroughly” steps to ensure the public would be “appropriately and appropriately applied.”
The response was not only rushed, but it was also “careless.”
The Trump Administration did not respond to my request for comment on the OIG’s response.
The OIG, for its part, did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.
But in a statement, OIG Chair Karen Kwiatkowski said that, because the Trump transition team had requested that the Agency be “totally focused on ethics,” the OG could not provide “a timeline” for its response.
But this lack of transparency, she added, “is a major concern because this has been a longstanding issue with OGE.
The OIG takes the ethics process very seriously and is fully committed to working with the new Administration to ensure that OGE is appropriately and effectively enforcing the law to protect the integrity of our Government and its citizens.”
For years, the OGES Office of Public Counsel has been fighting to make government ethics a top priority, and the Office’s work has earned it a reputation for being the go-to office for government ethics reform.
OPG Counsel is also the office that represents the President in ethics cases.
In May 2017, for example, the Office filed a lawsuit on behalf of former Trump National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, arguing that the president should not have violated federal law when he fired Flynn in February.
And, as of last week, the office was also representing former Vice President Joe Biden, who resigned amid ethics concerns in 2016 over a number of controversial activities that occurred while he was the Vice President.
The Office of Counsel to the Executive Office of the President (OCO) has also filed ethics cases against Trump’s other two Cabinet secretaries.
These cases, however, have largely been unsuccessful.
The Trump Administration, in other words, has not yet been able to get the ODO’s Office of Special Counsel (OSC) to take up the fight.
In response to this lack the Office, however,”we’re proud to say that we’ve made progress on a number a major fronts, and we’re also proud to be working with other federal agencies to make the OOC even more efficient and responsive to the needs of our country,” Kwiatkowsky said.
“The OOC is one of the most important government agencies in the country and we know that it is essential that the Administration, OOG, and OCE have an efficient and timely response to all of the urgent ethics matters raised by the Trump Transition.”
This is not the first time the OOG has been sued by the President.
As The Hill previously reported, the administration sued the OCC for failing to act on a claim that it was “unlawful” for the White House Counsel’s Office to appoint a special counsel.
And, in 2016, the Trump White House sued the Office over its handling of an ethics complaint filed by former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer.
But, while both these suits have been unsuccessful, there is one other aspect of the Trump OGA that has been particularly notable.
In 2016, for the first and only time in its history, the White Senate refused to allow the OGO to investigate a potential ethics violation involving Trump.
But that was a mere procedural step, and nothing to do with the OGI.
It was an outright refusal to investigate.