A top Department of Justice official has resigned her post in the agency, saying the conduct of the Trump administration makes it difficult for her to pursue fraud and misconduct cases in the corporate world.
Hui Chen was a Compliance Counsel Expert at the Department of Justice in the Criminal Division, specifically the fraud section.
The International Business Times reports that Chen was responsible for prosecuting white collar crime as well as evaluating companies for programs they put in place after getting caught.
Like regular Americans, corporations often choose to settle cases out-of-court instead of going to trial. Those settlements usually entail some kind of compliance program to correct what led to the initial crime.
Chen was appointed to the role in 2015. It was a new position at the time. While she quietly resigned her position in the DOJ at first, she’s now written a LinkedIn post explaining the move. She begins with:
Leaving DOJ was not an easy decision. Serving as the Fraud Section’s compliance counsel had given me not only the privilege of working with some of the most dedicated, intelligent, and innovative prosecutors in the federal government, it had also given me a platform from which I believed I could make a positive difference.
Then, Chen gets to the root of it: her new bosses:
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. To sit across the table from companies and question how committed they were to ethics and compliance felt not only hypocritical, but very much like shuffling the deck chair on the Titanic.
She added that it was difficult to do her job in light of the “numerous” suits pending “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.”
Chen also wrote that DOJ forbade her from speaking publicly, even about her own compliance work, which she says was misinterpreted in the public sphere.
Upon leaving her post, Chen writes that she intends to enter politics to elect candidates who stand for values she lists as “integrity, decency and intellect.” At the Department of Justice, she would have been constrained from such activity by the Hatch Act.
Resigning her position creates another vacancy at Trump’s Department of Justice, which still awaits more than 200 nominations.