How the U.S. ethics chief took on Trump and became a reluctant Washington hero

“He’s very nonconfrontational,” said Amy Comstock Rick, a former director of the ethics office. “Which is different from avoiding confrontation. He will certainly do what he needs to do or stand up for something he believes in.”

.. The ethics office “has to be led by people who are very, very cautious with their public messages but very aggressive privately,” said Paul C. Light, a professor of public service at New York University. “I think keeping a low profile and grinding away on the work is what’s important. … I’m glad he put OGE on the map. You’ve just got to be very careful about who’s looking at that map.”

.. Trump has pointed out correctly that the conflict-of-interest law does not apply to the president. So it must be okay.

.. Shaub cited the Bible, Antonin Scalia and other authorities to make the case that presidents should act as if the conflict-of-interest law did apply to them. Previous presidents have done so, he said.

“Should a president hold himself to a lower standard than his own appointees?” he asked. Then, without taking questions, Shaub gathered up his papers and disappeared again.