Steve Mnuchin jet request only the start of White House ethics issues (The Hill )
Larry Noble, General Counsel of the Campaign Legal Center, wrote an Op-Ed for The Hill on the ethical issues of the current administration including, Secretary Mnuchin.
Steve Mnuchin’s career in the financial world was often cited as among his qualifications for secretary of Treasury. Possibly less well known is his experience as an executive producer of big Hollywood movies. But what is his most randomly ironic experience is his one acting credit in a small role in last year’s major film, “Rules Don’t Apply.”
While about Howard Hughes, the tile would also be the perfect title for a film about the Trump administration’s approach to ethics, and Mnuchin would have a larger role.
Ethics rules and norms are part of the foundation of democracy. When the public believes leaders are motivated by self-interest and not public interest, faith in government decisions is eroded, no matter how well founded those decisions may be. That damage to the belief in the integrity of the government can become so extensive that the democracy itself is undermined. We have not yet reached that point (I hope), but we are on that path.
President Trump needs to understand that, unlike any other job he has held, the presidency is not about what is best for him. It is a job where the only interest is the public interest. Unfortunately, this seems like a hard concept for him to grasp. But that is why we have to continue to fight the current ethics culture becoming the norm by calling out attempts, like those of Steve Mnuchin, to use government resources for personal benefit. In the end, we have to show Rules Do Apply, even to the Trump administration.