Trump’s Agriculture pick submits ethics forms: reports

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President Trump’s Agriculture secretary nominee has submitted forms detailing how he will avoid potential ethical conflicts if confirmed, according to multiple reports.

Former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue (R) will vacate several positions at companies bearing his name, restructure family trusts and make blind trusts when he joins Trump’s Cabinet, KCRA 3 said Monday.

Perdue reportedly told the Office of Government Ethics (OGE) that he will vacate roles at the National Grain and Feed Association and the Georgia Agribusiness Council as part of the agreement.

{mosads}Reuters said Monday that Perdue will also depart from the Bipartisan Policy Center Governor’s Council, according to OGE filings posted online over the weekend.

Perdue also purportedly plans on putting his assets, which include part ownership in a grain merchandizing company, into a blind trust.

KCRA 3 said the company is called AGrowStar and is worth between $5 million and $25 million, according to OGE financial disclosure documents.

The Senate Agriculture Committee has received Perdue’s paperwork, it said, a final step before scheduling Perdue’s long-stalled confirmation hearing.

A panel spokeswoman told KCRA 3 that committee staff is reviewing Perdue’s disclosures and will schedule a hearing when that review is complete.

Perdue’s ethics forms are required by the Ethics in Government Act of 1978, which was passed after the Watergate scandal surrounding former President Richard Nixon and his administration.

Trump nominated Perdue to lead the Agriculture Department on Jan. 19, but the former governor’s business interests have reportedly slowed scheduling of his confirmation hearing.

Perdue, 70, is the son of a farmer and worked extensively in the grain trading and trucking industries before becoming Georgia’s first Republican governor since Reconstruction.

Acting Agriculture Deputy Secretary Mike Young remains in charge while Perdue’s nomination is pending, according to KCRA 3.

Trump last week criticized Senate Democrats for having not yet confirmed all of his Cabinet nominees, including Perdue.

“It is so pathetic that the Dems have not yet approved my full Cabinet,” he tweeted on March 3.

Former President Barack Obama’s Cabinet was not fully sworn in until more than three months into his first term in 2009.

Tags Agriculture Agriculture Department Barack Obama Cabinet Ethics Politics

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