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Debate: Chaffetz gets still more attention. Most of it still critical...

Published January 18, 2017 3:51 pm
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2017, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The newest flash:

— Possible GOP challenger to Rep. Jason Chaffetz emerges — Lee Davidson | The Salt Lake Tribune

"Damian W. Kidd — a Republican and attorney living in American Fork — is considering running next year against Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, arguing the congressman cares more about himself than voters.

" 'Chaffetz isn't concerned about Utah; he's concerned about Chaffetz,' Kidd said in a statement announcing that he is testing the waters for a candidacy next year. 'Chaffetz is not serving us, but is instead tactically navigating a political path for his own advancement.'

"He charged that Chaffetz loves TV cameras and the spotlight too much. 'He has either become intoxicated by power or has nothing going in the private sector — or both.'..."

— Utahns want Chaffetz to probe Trump conflicts, ethics official responds to Chaffetz — Courtney Tanner | The Salt Lake Tribune

"Utahns overwhelmingly want Rep. Jason Chaffetz, as chairman of the House Oversight Committee, to investigate President-elect Donald Trump's potential conflicts of interests — an endeavor Chaffetz has strongly resisted.

A new poll by The Salt Lake Tribune and Hinckley Institute of Politics found 65 percent of registered voters surveyed in the state support such a probe, compared to just 31 percent opposed.

The poll comes out amidst ongoing friction between Chaffetz and a top federal ethics official critical about Trump's handling of his widespread business interests, including foreign ties to Russia. ..."

— Utah voters to Chaffetz: Do your job — Jennifer Rubin | The Washington Post

"Rather than commit to investigating President-elect Donald Trump's ongoing conflicts of interest and his refusal to comply with the letter of the Constitution's emoluments clause, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) has decided to dragoon the head of the Office of Government Ethics, who spoke out about Trump's ethical shortcomings, to a closed-door session. Chaffetz prefers to browbeat the messenger rather than enforce the Constitution and prevent rampant corruption. ..."

— Chaffetz is waging the wrong ethics war — Washington Post Editorial

" ... As Congress's chief watchdog, with an open-ended charge to review all sorts of executive branch activity, Chaffetz should be raising questions about Trump's ethics plan. Before November's election, he promised "years" of investigations of Hillary Clinton, if she won. His tune changed after Trump's victory; he said Sunday he has no interest in a "fishing expedition" to assess Trump's business entanglements. Yet he will use valuable committee resources assailing a federal ethics officer for what amounts to modestly concerning behavior.

" ... Chaffetz is already prioritizing partisanship over responsibility. Undercutting the executive branch's ethics office would represent a larger failing.

"Shaub should stop picking fights with the president-elect, unless and until Congress gives him the clear responsibility to do so. Chaffetz should spend his time on more consequential issues."

— Trump's ethics proposal is pure window dressing — Des Moines Register Editorial

"It's not unusual to see members of Congress loudly claim to uphold the highest ethical standards, and then fall silent when members of their own party are found to be ethically challenged.

"But Rep. Jason Chaffetz, a Utah Republican who heads the now-laughably-named House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, has taken this partisan double-standard to a new low. ..."

— Trump Ethics: Is McCarthyism Back? — Marcy Kreiter | International Business Times

"President-elect Donald Trump learned at the knee of Roy Cohn, the ruthless New York lawyer who gained notoriety as chief counsel for Sen. Joseph McCarthy, leader of the witch hunt for communist infiltrators in the 1950s.

"Perhaps the most important lesson Trump learned from Cohn was how to exploit power and instill fear: attack, counterattack and never apologize. ...

" ... As a result, Republicans now are threatening Shaub. Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, sent Shaub a letter, demanding he appear before the House Oversight Committee and accusing him of "blurring the line between public relations and official ethics guidance." The letter also noted Congress has the power to shut down Shaub's office since its authorization lapsed 10 years ago (it's been funded by continuing resolution since then). ..."

— Federal ethics chief responds to threats from House GOP by suggesting public meeting — Peter Weber | The Week

"Last week, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), chairman of the House Oversight Committee, issued a thinly veiled threat to Walter Shaub, director of the independent Office of Government Ethics, sending Shaub a letter requesting a 'transcribed interview with committee staff' on Shaub's public comments about President-elect Donald Trump's conflicts of interest. Chaffetz, in his letter, noted that he has jurisdiction over the OGE's funding and very existence. Shaub responded in a letter dated Monday and released to CNN on Tuesday night, saying that over the weekend Chaffetz had changed his request from 'transcribed interview' to 'private meeting,' then making a counter-offer: a public meeting. ..."






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