A top Justice Department corporate crime expert has quit, saying it’s impossible to hold suspected lawbreakers to standards that President Donald Trump is not meeting himself.
Hui Chen, who was the compliance counsel in the fraud unit of DOJ’s criminal division, discussed her reasons for quitting in a LinkedIn post published June 25. She wrote that it was impossible to sit across from corporate representatives and demand a basic standard of behavior that is not being enforced in the White House.
“Trying to hold companies to standards that our current administration is not living up to was creating a cognitive dissonance that I could not overcome,” Chen wrote in her post, which was first reported by the International Business Times.
“Even as I engaged in... questioning and evaluations, on my mind were the numerous lawsuits pending against the President of the United States for everything from violations of the Constitution to conflict of interest, the ongoing investigations of potentially treasonous conducts, and the investigators and prosecutors fired for their pursuits of principles and facts,” she wrote. “Those are conducts I would not tolerate seeing in a company, yet I worked under an administration that engaged in exactly those [conducts]. I wanted no more part in it.”
Chen has posted several tweets critical of the administration.
In her LinkedIn post, Chen explained that she now believes she can effect more change from outside the government than from within it.
“Nothing matters to me more than working to restore the notions of integrity, decency, and intellect back into our government,” she concluded. “I want to help elect candidates who stand for those values, and I cannot do that while under contract with the Criminal Division due to Hatch Act restrictions.”
The Hatch Act forbids federal employees in the executive branch from using their positions to sway political elections.
Last week, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a nonprofit watchdog organization, accused U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley of violating the Hatch Act by endorsing a GOP candidate in a South Carolina congressional election.
Chen said she will “also consider it my personal mission to participate in efforts to hold our elected representatives accountable and to protect our environment.”
The Justice Department touted Chen’s hiring in late 2015. The former New York federal prosecutor monitored programs bringing companies into legal compliance after suspected criminal activity.