Pick Your Favorite Ethical Offender

In Conflict of Interest, New York Times Editorial On
- Updated

President Trump and his administration are offering the country a graduate-level course in the selling of the presidency. Much attention has focused on how Mr. Trump is using the White House for personal gain, but many other officials, including members of his family, friends and close aides, also stand to rake it in at the public’s expense.

Mr. Trump has driven right over the Constitution by allowing foreign governments to funnel money to him through his hotels and golf courses, in violation of the emoluments clause. So it comes as no surprise that the people who work for him have felt free to abuse their positions and run roughshod over ethics rules. He has created an anything-goes culture in which some aides and advisers are openly working to bend government policy to serve their personal interests. In other cases, the potential for corruption is less obvious but no less dangerous. Here are some of the most egregious offenders.

These are just a few examples of the ways in which this administration is skirting ethical standards. The financial disclosure forms for high-level officials the White House has begun releasing may make for interesting reading, but they will do nothing to resolve these conflicts.

In an ideal world, Congress would take on that challenge and investigate. Alas, Republican leaders seem unconcerned about the integrity of the government when the president is a fellow Republican. That means both the offending officials and the party will be forever tarred by their association with one of the most ethically challenged administrations in modern history.

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