A White House ethics lawyer reportedly resigned last week.
James Schultz, whose work included ethics and financial disclosure issues, is planning to go back to his private practice at Cozen O’Connor, a Philadelphia-based law firm, Politico reported.
“That was something Don [McGahn, the White House counsel] and I discussed very early on,” Schultz told the news outlet.
“I was interested in continuing with private practice and saw this as a tremendous opportunity to go serve and get things up and running and the plan was to move on about this time.”
He added that people typically stay in these positions for a year to 18 months.
Schultz also told Politico he would be willing to take part in the public debate regarding conflicts of interests in the Trump administration.
“That’ll be something I’d be willing to do, certainly, getting out and talking about the good work the Trump administration is doing on these issue,” he said.
“I will be out, but I don’t plan to make a career out of being a pundit on TV. … I’m planning to have a robust law practice.”
He added that some members of the media “unfairly criticize this administration and take every opportunity to take shots, even when they’re not justified.”
“There has been undue attention. … We’ve been more onerous in making people divest and recuse than the agencies would have required,” Schultz told the news outlet.
“There have been folks out there trying to make a name for themselves in that space by being critics in order to set themselves up for other positions down the road.”
He specifically pointed to Walter Shaub, the former director of the Office of Government Ethics, who has been a frequent critic of the administration. Shaub last week said he filed a complaint with a federal watchdog over White House counselor Kellyanne Conway’s comments on the Alabama Senate race.
“It became pretty evident early on that Shaub’s goal was to [set] himself up to be a pundit when he left government,” Schultz said.
“Nobody knew who Walter Shaub was before Donald Trump became president. … He immediately thrust himself into the limelight instead of being helpful on the issues where he could have been. It was more about him than about ethics.”
BY REBECCA SAVRANSKY – 11/27/17 07:16 AM EST