Former ethics chief, a vocal Trump critic, joins watchdog group

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Walter Shaub, the former head of the Office of Government Ethics (OGE), is joining the federal ethics watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), according to a statement Tuesday from the group.

Shaub, who publicly clashed with President Trump over the president’s business interests last year before resigning his post, previously served as senior director for ethics at the Campaign Legal Center.

{mosads}“I’ve been an admirer of CREW’s work, and now I’m excited to be a part of it,” Shaub said Tuesday in the press release.

“At a time when the ethical norms that make up our democracy find themselves under constant attack, CREW is doing essential work to protect them,” he continued.

“Adding Walt Shaub only makes our great ethics team even better; we’re so glad to have him joining our battle for accountability,” the group’s director Noah Bookbinder added in the release.

Shaub resigned from OGE last year and told reporters that it appeared Trump is profiting off of his presidency.

“I can’t know what their intention is. I know that the effect is that there’s an appearance that the businesses are profiting from his occupying the presidency,” Shaub told CBS News last year.

“America should have the right to know what the motivations of its leaders are, and they need to know that financial interests — personal financial interests — aren’t among them,” Shaub added.

Critics of the Trump administration have pointed to Trump and other Republicans’ use of Trump Organization locations for private fundraisers and other events, which they say directly benefits the president financially.

Trump did not sell his stake in his businesses upon taking the White House last year, instead placing them in a trust controlled by his sons.

CREW has argued that Trump is violating the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution, which prohibits a member of the federal government from profiting off of their political office, citing in particular the Trump Hotel in D.C.

Trump also has faced criticism for his own use of his properties, visits to which require security costs typically running into hundreds of thousands of dollars for taxpayers.

The president has spent 196 days of his 592 days in office at his own properties, according to an NBC News analysis.

Tags CREW Donald Trump Donald Trump Ethics OGE Trump administration Walter Shaub Walter Shaub

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