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Warren: No Confirmation Hearings Until Ethics Concerns Addressed

Elizabeth Warren wants ethics screenings before any of Donald Trump’s cabinet picks are confirmed or not.

The Hill reports:

Sen. Elizabeth Warren on Saturday called for the Senate to not hold confirmation hearings for President-elect Donald Trump’s Cabinet picks until after the completion of an ethics screening.

“Cabinet officials must put our country’s interests before their own. No [confirmation] hearings should be held until we’re certain that’s the case,” the Massachusetts Democrat tweeted.

Cabinet officials must put our country’s interests before their own. No conf hearings should be held until we’re certain that’s the case.

— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) January 7, 2017

Warren responded to a letter from the Office of Government Ethics (OGE), an agency that is responsible for conducting ethics reviews of Cabinet nominees, which warned that the plan to hold confirmation hearings before the completion of ethics reviews is “of great concern.”

“This is ridiculous,” Warren tweeted, “[Trump’s nominees] can’t drag their feet on ethics paperwork while their Senate friends try to run out the clock.”

This is ridiculous. @realDonaldTrump’s noms can’t drag their feet on ethics paperwork while their Senate friends try to run out the clock.

— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) January 7, 2017

OGE Director Walter Shaub voiced his concerns about the premature confirmation hearings in a letter to Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Warren on Saturday after the two lawmakers asked for a progress report on the ongoing ethics reviews.

Schumer also criticized the timing of the planned hearings while accusing GOP lawmakers of trying to “jam through” the nominees.

“The Office of Government Ethics letter makes crystal-clear that the transition team’s collusion with Senate Republicans to jam through these Cabinet nominees before they’ve been thoroughly vetted is unprecedented,” Schumer said in a statement Saturday.

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) also called for the hearings to be delayed until after the ethics reviews were finished.

“[I]f Trump and the GOP-led Senate fail to do so, the only reasonable conclusion to be drawn is that they are concerned about what will be exposed,” DNC spokeswoman Adrienne Watson said.

The Republicans are planning to hold hearings beginning Tuesday and Wednesday to confirm Trump’s nominees.

Nominees slated to testify include former ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson, Trump’s pick for secretary of State; Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), Trump’s pick for attorney general; and Betsy DeVos, Trump’s pick for Education secretary.

Photo credit: CNN/Screenshot.

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