The U.S. Office of Government Ethics (OGE) has been busy vetting Donald Trump's nominees since he became President, causing a series of withdraws by some of those nominees, more recently, his pick for Navy Secretary Philip Bilden last Sunday.

Philip Bilden said that he would withdraw his consideration because he could not satisfy the requirements set by the ethics office without disruption and the divestment of his "family's private financial interests," quoted in various reports.

This is reportedly the second time a nominee for an armed services department withdrew their consideration due to pressure from the U.S.

Office of Government Ethics, the first being Vincent Viola earlier in February.

Testing the Office of Government Ethics

The OGE enforces the 1978 Ethics in Government Act which requires public officials and their immediate families to disclose their employment and financial history in order to ensure that there are no active conflicts of interest which could guarantee the official would use their office to increase their own wealth.

The About page for the U.S. Office of Government Ethics says: “When government decisions are made free from conflicts of interest, the public can have greater confidence in the integrity of executive branch programs and operations.”

Despite this, however, Trump was not done testing the code of ethics for federal employees as his latest pick for Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson also has enough questionable business practices in her history with the U.S.

government that it concerned the Department of Energy (DOE) Inspector General enough to file a report in 2013.

Wilson's 'fraudulent' work ethic

What spurred the initial investigation that led scrutiny by the current ethics office was a call by an auditor to the Department of Justice's (DOJ) fraud hotline, noting discrepancies in her invoices.

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The Daily Beast provided a more simplified and up-to-date report called “What Was Trump's Air Force Pick Doing For All That Cash” where it states that Lockheed-Martin subsidiary Sandia Corporation hired Heather Wilson's company and how the DOJ determined that both companies were part of an improper effort “to bill the government for money spent lobbying the government for more business.”

On June 7, 2013, the inspector general for the Department of Energy filed a 24-page inspection report called “Concerns with Consulting Contract Administration at various Department Sites” after an audit showed that Heather Wilson's company was paid an average of $20K dollars a month from national labs without even meeting the minimum standards required for invoices, which were apparently too vague to show what services she provided.

When the officials for Los Alamos – who she was also consulting – and Sandia attempted to recover the time she provided for her services, she blatantly refused to give it.

OGE pressure

As The Daily Beast points out, her new role as Air Force Secretary would put her back in control of making deals with Lockheed-Martin, the company she was paid by through the Sandia subsidiary mentioned in DOE report. To put things in perspective, it's also noted that Lockheed-Martin government contracts are valued at $7.4 Billion. But, in order to see the depth of the concerns; even a Sandia official quoted in the report said, “We don’t do business with anyone else like this and prefer that this contract go away.”

Even more concerning is that through Sandia, Wilson lobbied for them specifically to discourage the federal government from taking any interest in competing bids from other companies.

Obviously, since she is a Republican, Senate Republicans have shown more support for her as qualified for the position but opposition Democrats specifically point out that even the appearance of any conflict of interest makes her nomination questionable. Now it's just a question whether the U.S. Office of Government Ethics will put enough pressure on her to create trouble for Trump's agenda. No hearing scheduled at this time.