Yay, Government Ethics Is Happening!

The Office of Government Ethics, probably the most forsaken place in Washington since Team Trump swept into power, issued an extraordinary tweetstorm on Thursday afternoon reminding everyone of how OGE works.

Apparently this office—which, let’s be honest, almost nobody knew about until Donald Trump took office three weeks ago—has been receiving so many calls, emails, and letters that it is overwhelmed. OGE’s website crashed for five hours on Thursday (that’s 35 hours to dogs surfing the Internet), so it sent out the following tweets to help the public understand what’s what.



This is a polite way of telling the public, “Yes, we’re totally down with your conflict-of-interest allegations against Donald Trump, but we can’t get the guy out of office ourselves. We’re just the clearinghouse for conspiracy theories around here.”

The cause of Thursday’s website overload seems to be Kellyanne Conway, the Trump adviser who went on Fox News and told viewers they should buy Ivanka Trump’s clothing products. Brazen commercial shilling like that violates federal law, and it sent the anti-Trumpers to the OGE website.

Still, we should praise the OGE for its work so far. It already issued a pre-taliation warning to Trump last month, when his team started demanding that no government employee say anything to anyone, ever. OGE quickly sent out a reminder that all government employees are always allowed to report possible misconduct, no matter what You-Know-Who says.

OGE also has duties such as establishing codes of conduct for government employees, and developing ethics training materials. Considering that President Fredo Corleone and at least half his cabinet have conflicts of interest up to their eyeballs, this cannot be an easy job.

OGE is doing what it can, and deserves support from compliance professionals here in the corporate realm. Lord knows, that office is going to need it.

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