Rep. Jason Chaffetz, who turned his role as the House Oversight Committee Chairman into a detective agency dedicated to smearing Hillary over Benghazi, now appears to turning into Donald Trump's own version of the Stasi, and plans to meet with Walter Shaub, the head of the OGE for vocalizing his unhappiness with Trump's bogus plans to continue his conflicts of interest while residing in the Oval Office.
As CNN and other news agencies have reported, instead of using his oversight powers to rightly curb Trump's ethical dilemmas and refusals to divest himself from his businesses, Chaffetz has focused on Shaub, who dared to do his job.
Mother Jones' Russ Choma reports:
"At an event at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC, Shaub said Trump's plan is not sufficient. "Nothing short of divestiture will resolve these conflicts," he said. "This has been my position from the start."
Shaub noted that the arrangement Trump unveiled at a Wednesday press conference should not be compared to a blind trust, which is overseen by an independent trustee who works to sell off assets and reduce conflicts. "This is not a blind trust," Shaub remarked. "It's not even close. It's not even halfway blind. The only thing it has in common with a blind trust is the label 'trust.'
Almost everyone outside of Trump surrogates agree that Trump's refusal to adhere to the basic concepts of White House protocol is a huge problem and a violation of the Emoluments Clause.
Instead, Rep. Chaffetz is acting like Trump's brown shirt goon squad and calling for a meeting with Shaub to "discuss his views on the President-elect's plan to settle any potential conflicts of interest."
Rep. Elijah Cummings wrote a letter to Rep. Chaffetz demanding Chaffetz investigate Trump's conflicts of interest, but he's turned his attention on a Trump critic.
Cummings also wrote, "I believe it is imperative that Director Shaub be permitted to testify in public -- before the American people -- to avoid any perception that he is being unfairly targeted behind closed doors for expressing his views."
Don't expect Rep. Chaffetz to act like a true human being since he hasn't done so as of yet. It's enablers like the Congressman from Utah that are allowing Trump and his family to run roughshod over the American people, even before he takes office.
Hamilton Nolan at Deadspin captures the moral morass Trump is making of our political system:
"Ethical guidelines exist for a reason. Norms exist for a reason.
The reason is not “Jerks who think they’re smarter than us trying to control our lives from on high.” The reason is that human history is long, and all of the mistakes that could possibly be made have been made, and at a certain point people figured out that following some common sense rules could prevent us from making the same dire mistakes over and over again.
Mistakes that come from human nature. Mistakes like: allowing powerful people to use their powerful positions to make money for themselves, or allowing powerful people to use their powerful positions to squelch legitimate dissent, or allowing powerful people to use their powerful positions to flout the very ethical guidelines and norms that prior people in powerful positions established to keep people in powerful positions in check.
Yes, Trump campaigned in an unusual fashion, but that doesn't mean he's allowed to commit impeachable offenses and enrich himself with the power of the presidency.