HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Ethics official who criticized Trump agrees to meet with Chaffetz privately

The head of the independent federal ethics office agreed to meet with Rep. Jason Chaffetz privately to discuss his public criticism of President-elect Donald Trump after reportedly asking the Utah Republican for a public forum.

Chaffetz, the chairman of the GOP-led House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said he sent a letter to Walter Shaub Jr., director of the Office of Government Ethics, asking him to appear before lawmakers in a closed-door, transcribed interview.

Politico reported that Shaub responded to the request in a letter asking for their meeting to be open to the public to “ensure transparency and educate the public about how OGE guards the executive branch against conflicts of interest.”

Shaub, appointed by President Obama to a five-year term that has a year to go, gave an extraordinary public admonishment of Trump's plan to place his businesses in a trust managed by his elder sons. The ethics chief said the plan was "wholly inadequate" to protect the incoming president from conflicts of interest.

"Stepping back from running his business is meaningless from a conflict-of-interest perspective," Shaub said at a forum at the Brookings Institution.

Politico reported that the meeting with Chaffetz will be on Monday.