Trump’s Deputy Commerce Secretary Nominee Forced To Withdraw From Hearings


President Trump made a habit of alleging that Democrats were improperly holding up the confirmation hearings for his nominees to the various positions across government that he is tasked to fill, but perhaps if Trump picked people that weren’t dogged by persistent ethics questions, then he’d have a better time.

Of course, that only applies to the positions that Trump actually chooses to fill. There are a number of positions across the government that, at present, simply remain empty.

The latest Trump nominee to get the ax is Todd Ricketts, who owns the Chicago Cubs baseball team and who Trump nominated to serve in the position of Deputy Commerce Secretary.

Ricketts hasn’t officially submitted his withdrawal from the position to which he’s been nominated; he’ll do that when Congress returns from its Easter recess. In the meantime, however, it’s been revealed that Ricketts simply can’t disengage himself from his many financial interests to the satisfaction of the Office of Government Ethics.

The Senate Commerce Committee reportedly refused to hold a hearing on Ricketts’s nomination until he was cleared by the OGE. Earlier on in Trump’s tenure, it was a serious issue that a number of Trump nominees were moving forward through their respective confirmation hearings with no regard to those nominees’ statuses with the OGE.

The Chicago Sun-Times — Ricketts’s baseball team’s local paper — reports that Ricketts told them the following of his decision to withdraw his name from consideration in an email:

‘I am deeply honored that President Trump nominated me to serve as Deputy Secretary of Commerce. I offer my continued support for President Trump and his administration, and the important work they are doing to promote economic opportunity. I hope there are other opportunities to contribute to his administration in the future.’

Although Ricketts was willing to divest from his personal financial holdings before officially taking the job to which he had been nominated, that “wasn’t enough” for the OGE.

Ricketts’s family members are most all deeply involved in the interests that Ricketts is; thus, although the Deputy Commerce Secretary nominee could cut financial ties with the businesses in question, it’s not as though he could cut familial ties. Rickett’s father is the founder of the investment firm TD Ameritrade.

Ricketts has been “becoming increasingly more active and public in the political arena in the past few years,” according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

Trump, according to his own words which he offered up on the occasion of his announcement of Ricketts’s intial nomination, thought that he’d be a good fit for the job because the Ricketts family had bought and turned around the Chicago Cubs baseball team to the point of sending the team to a World Series win.

Of course, there are big differences between a baseball team and a country, but that doesn’t seem to have occurred to Trump.

This instance isn’t the only time that a Trump nominee has had to withdraw themselves from consideration for the position to which they’d been nominated. Trump’s initial pick for Army Secretary and for Labor Secretary both had to do the same.

Featured Image via Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images.