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Should Journal Sentinel’s ’ethics experts’ recuse themselves?

Empower Wisconsin | Oct. 30, 2019

By M.D. Kittle 

MADISON — In a hit piece earlier this month, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel quoted “ethics experts” who criticized Sen. Ron Johnson for not taking seriously allegations that President Trump withheld U.S. military aid from Ukraine for political reasons. 

Turns out the newspaper’s’ experts lean left, are reliably anti-Trump, and some have engaged in Democratic Party politics. 

The piece plays scold to the Oshkosh Republican for his support of Trump, and his insistence that the president was interested in getting at the truth surrounding the phony Russian collusion investigation, not about getting dirt on a political rival. 

Johnson should have told on Trump, the Journal Sentinel’s sources say, after he learned the president was accused of withholding aid until Ukraine reopened its investigation into Hunter Biden, troubled son of former Vice President and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden. 

Johnson, who has met with Ukraine officials and said he understands Trump’s frustration over the campaign to force him out of office, told Empower Wisconsin earlier this month, “It’s not hard to imagine that maybe this is just one very well- orchestrated hit job on the president.”

The “ethics experts” go as far as asserting that Johnson should recuse himself from voting on Trump’s removal should the Democratic-controlled House, thirsty for political blood, impeach the president. 

“You don’t have somebody be a witness in a trial and then serve on the jury,” Hui Chen, a former compliance attorney for the U,.S. Department of Justice, told the newspaper.  

Perhaps this so-called ethics expert should have recused herself from the Journal Sentinel story. What the newspaper failed to point out is that Chen quit her Justice Department job after going ballistic on Trump on Twitter. “(M)ore than a few of her tweets sound downright subversive,” one compliance expert observed in the first five months of the Trump presidency. 

In one tweet, Chen wrote, “What do you do if you are troubled by your organization’s ‘tone from the top,’ and feel you no longer believe in its mission?” #Ethics” 

Around the same time, Chen took part in a political protest, holding a sign that declared “Science not Silence.” 

In another tweet, Chen is wearing a “resist” hat standing next to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the Democrat with the ultimate say on impeaching her political enemy. 

And in an oldie but a goodie, Chen in a tweet appears to compare former Attorney General Jeff Sessions to Hitler. 

For good measure, Chen highlighted a photo of the Trump International Hotel, with the words “Pay Trump Bribes Here” superimposed over the edifice. 

“Latest artwork in DC — night time only!)” the ethics professional wrote in the May, 16, 2017 tweet. 

Kathleen Clark, another Journal Sentinel “ethics expert,” told the newspaper that she believes Johnson not telling on Trump “shows that Johnson cares most about defending Trump and cares a lot less about defending the republic, defending the interests of the people of Wisconsin.” 

Does that sound like a politically detached observation? 

Clark, law professor at Washington University in St. Louis, is thought to be a go-to ethics source for mainstream/leftist media, always good for an anti-Trump quote. She’s been presuming Trump’s guilt since before his inauguration. It’s clear there was no honeymoon period for Trump in the media; Clark was among an academia army that brought a shotgun to the wedding. 

“List of ways govt employees can respond when asked to participate in actions they believe are illegal or unethical,” the law professor tweeted a day before Trump’s inauguration, including a link to a post that assumes the incoming president would preside over an ethical wasteland.

Due process dead on arrival. Is presumption of guilt ethical? 

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel also quoted Ryan Goodman, professor at NYU Law School. Goodman was a Pentagon lawyer in the Obama administration. Maybe he knows where some of the Obama political bodies are buried. The “ethics expert” has been a noisy anti-Trump commenter on Twitter from the get-go. Goodman has feverishly tried to discredit John Solomon, columnist for the Hill who has done some of the best work exposing the Deep State and its bad actors. Goodman was defending James Clapper and the intelligence community against the Trump transition team in December 2016. 

These are the ethics experts the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel called on to blast Wisconsin’s senior senator for ethical lapses. Talk about your unreliable sources. 

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