In 2009, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell sent the then then-Majority Leader Harry Reid a letter outlining the traditional standards that were demanded of President Barack Obama’s nominees.
Now, using his own words against him, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has sent McConnell a copy of the same letter, making only a few small changes, such as replacing Democrats with Republicans and cancelling out McConnell’s signature.
Schumer also tweeted out an edited copy of the same letter on Monday, showing the changes he made to the document.
Interestingly, McConnell in his letter had a long list of requirements that Obama’s nominees had to meet before they could be confirmed. However, in one of the best examples of hypocrisy, President-elect Donald Trump’s nominees are not required to meet any of these standards and no proper vetting procedure is being followed. Republicans have been conveniently holding hearings before the nominees even completed background checks and ethics clearances.
So far, the Office of Government Ethics has released financial disclosures and ethics letters for five nominees that are supposed to receive hearings soon. These include Trump’s pick for secretary of state, Rex Tillerson; his pick for attorney general, Rep. Mike Pompeo; his pick to be transportation secretary, Elaine Chao; and lastly his pick to lead the Pentagon, retired Marine Gen. James Mattis.
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has previously dismissed ethical vetting as “little procedural complaints.”
However, it is only fair that Trump’s nominees have to undergo the same scrutinizing process as Obama’s nominees did, in order to ensure that only the best and more eligible people get to occupy prominent positions in the cabinet.
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters, Yuri Gripas