This is utter garbage, and Treasury knows it.
Treasury knows that a spouse's financial interests are imputed to the employee for purposes of the conflict of interest law.
Treasury knows that divesting a conflicting asset by selling it to your fiance a few weeks before getting married is a scam.
Treasury promises he'll recuse from any "particular matter" affecting that asset. What Treasury isn't telling you is the Justice Department and OGE advise agencies that a multi-sector trade agreement, even one directly benefiting an employee's asset, is not a "particular matter."
I remember the time Mnuchin said he'd take remedial ethics training and work closely with ethics officials. That was a few weeks before he "divested" his asset to his fiance.
Did anyone call the retired ethics official to confirm his story?
Where are the notes of their discussion?
Did he consult her before he sold his asset to his fiance, or was it after?
Did he sell for cash or accept an IOU from the woman he was about to marry?
Sorry for the delayed reaction, but I was traveling all day and just read the news of this tonight. Simply appalling. I can't recall a cabinet official not having a report certified. Now we have Pruitt, Ross and Mnuchin. This is the product of a bad ethical tone at the top.
(I hope this analysis is helpful for any reporters continuing to dig into this bizarre story. It's solely my personal take based only on the publicly available information in today's reporting.)
Again, what Mr. Sayegh isn't telling you is the government views the conflict of interest law as inapplicable to a broad multi-sector trade agreement. By that view, Mnuchin could legally negotiate a clause in such an agreement that increases the value of the asset he sold Linton.
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