It's never a good sign for an administration when a top ethics and fraud official in the Department of Justice resigns because she can't get compliance from White House.
Actually, what Hui Chen wrote in a LinkedIn post was far more pointed. Before resigning, she was the Compliance Counsel Expert in the fraud section of the criminal division for the Department of Justice. What she wrote was:
“Trying to hold companies to standards that our current administration is not living up to was creating a cognitive dissonance that I could not overcome. To sit across the table from companies and question how committed they were to ethics and compliance felt not only hypocritical, but very much like shuffling the deck chair on the Titanic. Even as I engaged in those questioning and evaluations, on my mind were the numerous lawsuits pending against the President of the United States for everything from violations of the Constitution to conflict of interest, the ongoing investigations of potentially treasonous conducts, and the investigators and prosecutors fired for their pursuits of principles and facts. Those are conducts I would not tolerate seeing in a company, yet I worked under an administration that engaged in exactly those conduct[s]. I wanted no more part in it.”
Actually, that is only part of what Hui Chen wrote. Another of her reasons, she says, is that her worked prohibited her from speaking publicly. After the Evaluations of Corporate Compliance document she had worked on was released, it became "particularly frustrating" to her, she writes, "as I watched almost everyone except me being able to talk about (and often misinterpreting) my work."
Furthermore, Ms. Chen explains that another of her motivations is "to restore the notions of integrity, decency, and intellect back into our government. I yearn to be a part of that effort more directly than volunteering for and attending protests: I want to help elect candidates who stand for those values" -- something that governmental restrictions of the Hatch Act prohibit her from doing.
(I was particularly taking by her mentioning wanting to restore "intellect" into the government. By that point in her piece, we expected her to say integrity and decency. But her addendum made it leap out.)
And there's even more. All thoughtful, all even-handed, all very blunt. You can read her full piece on LinkedIn here. (You may have to be a subscriber to access it, but membership is free.) The article is pointedly titled, "Mission Matters."
And just to repeat -- it's never a good sign for an administration when a top ethics and fraud official in the Department of Justice resigns because she can't get compliance from White House.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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