President Trump Probably Having Second Thoughts About SEC Pick

Turns out Jay Clayton's conflicts aren't that bad, which is a real disqualification for this administration.
Wait, what? (Sullivan & Cromwell)

(Sullivan & Cromwell)

The Securities and Exchange Commission is a little closer to having an actual chairman after Jay Clayton, the white-shoe law firm partner President Trump picked to replace Mary Jo White, passed his conflicts of interest review before the U.S. Office of Government Ethics. Now, we know what you’re thinking: A conflicts of interest review is still required to take up a high-level position in the U.S. government? The U.S. government still has an ethics office? What are these “conflicts of interest” and “ethics” of which you speak, anyway? You know that it is 2017 and a living, breathing, walking conflict of interest/ethics violation occupies the Oval Office?

These are all fair questions, but they pale next to the real question raised by Clayon’s conflicts sign-off, coupled with his wife’s promise to quit her presumably lucrative job at Goldman Sachs if he gets his new one. That is the question Trump must be asking himself: Is a person without conflicts of interest the kind of person I want in my administration? The answer to which is pretty clear.

The move by the U.S. Office of Government Ethics on Friday clears a path for the Senate Banking Committee to schedule a nomination hearing for Mr. Clayton, who is a partner at the law firm Sullivan & Cromwell LLP….

Mr. Clayton’s disclosures will be posted on the Office of Government Ethics’ website after they are shared with members of the banking panel, the people said. That could allow Mr. Clayton’s hearing to be scheduled for later in March, they added.

That’s a relief, as it means there’s still time for the president to change his mind and seek out a more ethically-challenged leader for the SEC, and for that person to decide the job’s not really worth all of the money it will cost him to take it, before Trump just nominates Clayton again sometime in late August or September. Of this year or next. Who cares, really?

Trump’s Pick for SEC Chairman Clears Ethics Hurdle [WSJ]