Ethics director, vocal critic of Trump administration, to step down

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Photo of former ethics director Walter Shaub. Photo courtesy of U.S. Office of Government Ethics

Photo of former ethics director Walter Shaub. Photo courtesy of U.S. Office of Government Ethics

The director of the U.S. Office of Government Ethics is resigning.

In a letter posted to Twitter on Thursday, Walter Shaub, a 2013 appointee of former President Barack Obama, said he would step down from his position July 19.

Shaub wrote that in his absence the office would remain “committed to protecting the principle that public service is a public trust, requiring employees to place loyalty to the Constitution, the laws, and the ethical principles above private gain.”

Shortly before President Donald Trump’s inauguration, the ethics chief criticized the way Trump transferred control of his business interests over to his sons. Shaub said Trump’s actions defied four decades of presidential precedent, regardless of party.

READ MORE: White House wants to halt ethics office’s inquiry into ex-lobbyists in administration

In May, Shaub’s office asked the Trump administration to reveal how many waivers it granted to ex-lobbyists it hired. The White House and Congressional Republicans pushed back, saying Obama granted 66 such waivers during his two terms in office, according to the Associated Press.

“I have had the honor and privilege of serving the American public at the U.S. Office of Government Ethics under three presidents – George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump,” Shaub said in a statement about his departure. “In working with the current administration, it has become clear to me that we need improvements to the existing ethics program. I look forward to working toward that aim at Campaign Legal Center, as well as working on ethics reforms at all levels of government.”

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