Warren: No confirmation hearings until ethics concerns addressed

Warren: No confirmation hearings until ethics concerns addressed
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Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenDems offering bill aimed at curbing stock buybacks Lessons from Dan Lipinski’s victory Michael Moore: Russia, Stormy Daniels stories are 'shiny keys to distract us' MORE on Saturday called for the Senate to not hold confirmation hearings for President-elect Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse expected to vote on omnibus Thursday afternoon House passes 'right to try' drug bill Spending bill rejects Trump’s proposed EPA cut MORE's Cabinet picks until after the completion of an ethics screening.

"Cabinet officials must put our country's interests before their own. No [confirmation] hearings should be held until we’re certain that’s the case," the Massachusetts Democrat tweeted. 

Warren responded to a letter from the Office of Government Ethics (OGE), an agency that is responsible for conducting ethics reviews of Cabinet nominees, which warned that the plan to hold confirmation hearings before the completion of ethics reviews is "of great concern."

"This is ridiculous," Warren tweeted, "[Trump's nominees] can’t drag their feet on ethics paperwork while their Senate friends try to run out the clock."


OGE Director Walter Shaub voiced his concerns about the premature confirmation hearings in a letter to Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerAmtrak to rename Rochester station after Louise Slaughter Conscience protections for health-care providers should be standard Pension committee must deliver on retirement promise MORE (D-N.Y.) and Warren on Saturday after the two lawmakers asked for a progress report on the ongoing ethics reviews.

Schumer also criticized the timing of the planned hearings while accusing GOP lawmakers of trying to "jam through" the nominees.

“The Office of Government Ethics letter makes crystal-clear that the transition team’s collusion with Senate Republicans to jam through these Cabinet nominees before they’ve been thoroughly vetted is unprecedented,” Schumer said in a statement Saturday.

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) also called for the hearings to be delayed until after the ethics reviews were finished.

"[I]f Trump and the GOP-led Senate fail to do so, the only reasonable conclusion to be drawn is that they are concerned about what will be exposed,” DNC spokeswoman Adrienne Watson said.

The Republicans are planning to hold hearings beginning Tuesday and Wednesday to confirm Trump's nominees.

Nominees slated to testify include former ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson, Trump's pick for secretary of State; Sen. Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsHouse Dem moves to force vote on bill protecting Mueller Toobin goes off on Dershowitz for ‘carrying water’ for Trump Overnight Regulation: Groups sue over decision to end pay-data rule | EU proposes tax on tech companies | Sessions issues memo on death penalty for drug cases | Pruitt spent 5K on first class flights MORE (R-Ala.), Trump's pick for attorney general; and Betsy DeVos, Trump's pick for Education secretary.