Federal Politics

Published — December 22, 2017

Watchdog calls for investigation into Wilbur Ross

Commerce Department

Complaint cites conflicts of interest in Commerce Secretary’s stake in shipping company

Introduction

The inspector general of the Commerce Department should investigate whether Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has complied with ethics and disclosure rules on several fronts, according to a new complaint from Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.

Citing a Center for Public Integrity investigation, the Washington, D.C. watchdog group is asking, among other things, that the inspector general look into possible conflicts related to Ross’s stake in Diamond S Shipping Group Inc., one of the world’s largest owners and operators of medium-range tanker vessels.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) also questioned whether Ross’s participation in certain trade matters violated conflict of interest rules, given his Diamond S Shipping stake.

The Center for Public Integrity in November reported that a Commerce Department spokesman said Ross had divested his stake in Diamond S Shipping following the investigation. The complaint notes that Ross “has yet to report a sales transaction for these assets.”

CREW additionally recommended that the inspector general probe ”omissions and irregularities” in Ross’s reporting of other assets, including stakes in the Bank of Cyprus and Navigator Holdings Ltd., another shipping company, and look into whether the commerce secretary has divested all the assets he agreed to divest.

“The CREW complaint is filled with errors,” said James Rockas, Commerce Department press secretary, in an email. “Secretary Ross has divested his holdings in the funds which own Navigator Holdings, Diamond S Shipping, and Bank of Cyprus, as well as other securities, even though the divestitures of Navigator and Diamond S were not required by the Office of Government Ethics.” Ross also submitted reports explaining the divestments, which the Office of Government Ethics will release “in due course,” Rockas said.

The complaint also cites reporting by Forbes on discrepancies between Ross’s required personal financial disclosure form and previous statements about the scope of his wealth.

“Taken as a whole, Secretary Ross’s conduct suggests a pattern and practice of ignoring, if not flouting, his legal and ethical obligations to disclose his interests and avoid conflicts of interest and raises concerns about whether he was deliberately trying to obfuscate the value of his extensive assets,” CREW communications director Jordan Libowitz said in a press release.

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SOUTH JERSEYTed SiroisMark SullivanTom LarkinAnonymous Recent comment authors
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Mark Sullivan
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Mark Sullivan

Trump needs to conduct these activities because the entire MSM media, excluding Fox, is campaigning against him 24/7/365.

Didn’t Monica’s boyfriend’s wife and various criminal enterprises outspend Trump by almost 2-1?

CapitalistRoader
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CapitalistRoader

Why wouldn’t he get an early start on fund raising? Hillary outspent him two-to-one in 2016. The Dem’s are the party of big money. The President knows this and is attempting to get a jump on it. Of course the Dem candidate will outspend him in 2020 so it’s only rational that he starts fund raising now.

George Young
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George Young

Oh brother. We just 8 years of the Campaigner – in – Chief. Where was this journalistic rectal thermometer then. Just another article about 2000 words too long that merely takes another slap at Trump for something he far from initiated.

j stevenson
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j stevenson

The big difference between Trump and all the rest is his refusing to accept funds from lobbyists, so they don’t have the White House access they are used to. These are the donors who buy the presidency and are as pixxed off that he won the election as are the media and the Dems. Lobbyists have never been shut out of the WH and Trump has told them he is not for sale.

jan v
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jan v

all the lobbyists are running all our government agencies and all the career civil servants who know how to run the country have been fired. YOU think this is a good thing ? what a crock…

thomas alessi
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thomas alessi

I am for Trump

Anonymous
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Anonymous

Trump needs to be impeached and tossed in prison. Then have the key thrown away so he will never be free. Then he can see how it feels not to have freedom.

Mark Sullivan
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Mark Sullivan

Thank you for the usual insightful leftist low IQ Snowflake response.

barney
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hes not imprisoning them hes sending them back to their country chill tf out

SOUTH JERSEY
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SOUTH JERSEY

WHY DONT YOU HAVE FREEDOM?

Tom Larkin
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Tom Larkin

First, something positive. I was happy to learn of empirical information in article. BUT, the article was so slanted against President Trump as to be deemed fake news (“Perhaps Trump just lied.” (Two different issues)). The article mentions that President Trump raised over $67 million, but ended 2018 with $19 million. President Trump spent over $40 million 2016 and 2017. President Trump conducted 57 political rallies. The article notes the hats and T-shirts sold, but NEVER MENTIONS THE INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF REPUBLICAN SENATORS during a mid-term election that lost the House and the number of political rallies in… Read more »

Ted Sirois
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Ted Sirois

At least Trump is getting donations from willing donors. Fresh from his first election, Obama used billions of our children’s tax dollars to save thousands of union jobs in the car industry and bailed out the banks and many Wall Street businesses. This secured his source of reelection funds for his reelection four years later.

South Jersey
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South Jersey

TRUMP 2020; IS AN AMAZINGLY SMART MAN! VERY ORIGINAL & CREATIVE. I AM HAPPY TO HAVE HIS AS POTUS.

SOUTH JERSEY
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SOUTH JERSEY

THIS ARTICLE WAS OBVIOUSLY WRITTEN BY, A TRUMP-HATE-GROUP. THAT FEELS; IT IS NOT NORMAL TO BE SUCCESSFUL WITH YOUR OWN BRAND NAME. WHEN, IF FACT, IT IS NORMAL! >>>>> THIS IS >>> FAKE NEWS!!! <<<< ie: A PACK-OF-LIES; SPUN INTO; DEFAMATION OF CHARACTER. FOR A SINISTER-AGENDA OF; FASCIST DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST, COUP D'ETAT

David
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David

Are you on some kind of drugs? Writing in caps makes me think that you are grumpy old fart or a uneducated hillbilly.