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Dems call for Senate to delay hearings on Trump's Cabinet picks

Dems call for Senate to delay hearings on Trump's Cabinet picks
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Democrats are calling on Senate Republicans to delay hearings for President-elect Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpObama slams Trump in Miami: 'Florida Man wouldn't even do this stuff' Trump makes his case in North Carolina, Ohio and Wisconsin Pence's chief of staff tests positive for COVID-19 MORE's Cabinet picks, citing an incomplete ethics screening of several nominees.

“It is unprecedented and deeply worrisome to hold confirmation hearings on President-elect Donald Trump's nominees before basic ethics reviews are completed," Democratic National Committee (DNC) spokeswoman Adrienne Watson said in a statement.

"These rushed hearings must be delayed until the ethics reviews are finished, and if 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,” Watson added.

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Earlier on Saturday, the director of the federal Office of Government Ethics, a watchdog agency that conducts ethics reviews of all Cabinet appointments, said that the plan to hold confirmation hearings before the ethics reviews are complete is "of great concern."

“As OGE’s director, the announced hearing schedule for several nominees who have not completed the ethics review process is of great concern to me,” Walter Shaub, Jr., said in a letter to Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerTrump expressed doubt to donors GOP can hold Senate: report Trump announces opening of relations between Sudan and Israel Five takeaways on Iran, Russia election interference MORE (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenWhat do Google, banks and chicken salad have in common? Final debate: War Admiral vs. Seabiscuit Biden defends his health plan from Trump attacks MORE (D-Mass.).

“This schedule has created undue pressure on OGE’s staff and agency ethics officials to rush through these important reviews,” he added.

Schumer also blasted the timing of the scheduled hearings, accusing Republican 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.

The GOP hopes to hold confirmation hearings on Tuesday and Wednesday as the party seeks to usher a smooth transition of power to the new administration.

The nominees currently scheduled for the next week's hearings include former ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson, Trump's pick for secretary of State; Sen. Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsBiden fact checks Trump on 545 families separated at border, calls policy 'criminal' Harris walks fine line on Barrett as election nears The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Trump's erratic tweets upend stimulus talks; COVID-19 spreads in White House MORE (R-Ala.), Trump's pick for attorney general; and Betsy DeVos, Trump's pick for Education secretary. 

Updated: 3:25 p.m.