Politics

Transparency Watchdog Removes Staff Names From Public Eye

REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque.

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Ethan Barton Editor in Chief
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A federal watchdog that “promotes transparency of the executive branch” on ethical and financial disclosure issues has removed its staff list from the public eye without explanation.

The Office of Government Ethics (OGE) only lists nine key contacts on its website. A comprehensive staff directory included on the watchdog’s website as recently as Nov. 23. is no longer available online.

OGE’s vision is to “achieve a high level of public confidence in the integrity of executive branch programs and operations,” according to its website.

“To fulfill its mission, OGE … promotes transparency of the executive branch ethics program by raising the visibility of the ethics program and OGE, and by ensuring that ethics information is publicly available,” its website said.

OGE recently praised Donald Trump in a series of tweets after the president-elect said he will be “leaving his great business in total.” (RELATED: Obama Ethics Office Unleashes Tweet Storm Praising Trump)

OGE could have an especially important role during Trump’s presidency, given his extensive international business ties that often intersect with governmental affairs. Trump’s Pennsylvania Avenue hotel, for example, is housed on federal property.

Trump should divest from his business to remove conflicts of interest, OGE Director Walter Shaub Jr. wrote in a Dec. 12 letter to Delaware Democratic Sen. Tom Carper.

Maryland Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings has especially pushed for investigations into Trump’s potential conflicts of interest.

A spokesman for OGE could not be reached Tuesday for comment.

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