The New York Times editorial board harshly slammed the Republican Party for trying to weaken the Office of Congressional Ethics (O.C.E) on the new House of Representatives' very first day on the job.
And the editorial did not give President-elect Donald Trump any credit for stopping the bid, even though many media outlets reported that his criticism was a key factor in House Republicans dropping the amendment that would have gutted the one quasi-independent office that investigates House ethics.
As the Times pointed out, Trump's tweet did not condemn the substance of the amendment, it merely asked them to delay the move, "as unfair as the [O.C.E) may be" and concentrate on issues of "far greater importance."
Other news outlets apparently attributed Trump's motives to stopping a move that was counter to his call to end corruption in Washington, even though he did not say that, because he ended the tweet with "#DTS," a reference to his campaign promise to "drain the swamp."
The editorial said proof that Trump is not against the measure passing eventually was that before he sent the tweet his incoming counselor to the president, Kellyanne Conway, had already been on television supporting the weakening of the O.C.E, insisting House Republicans had a "mandate" to curb "overzealousness" over ethics.
The Times, however, did praise members of the public for expressing outrage over the measure, including the conservative group Judicial Watch, which criticized it as a "poor way to begin draining the swamp."
The editorial emphasized that the claim by House Speaker Paul Ryan and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob that "gutting the office would improve 'due process' for accused lawmakers is a marvel of Orwellian newspeak, [as is] Goodlatte's insistence that dismantling the O.C.E. 'builds upon and strengthens' it."
The Times said it was not at all surprising that joining the call to weaken the office were several congressmen who have been investigated by the body, even though they have not been sanctioned, which it said just shows the importance of the body for holding legislators accountable.
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