Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz isn't the kind to go quietly. Before quitting Congress, the Utah Republican slammed the Trump administration as "almost worse" than Obama on government transparency.
And while President Trump will naturally want to counterpunch, he should hold back for once and listen instead. Chaffetz's caustic criticism is exactly the kind of advice that could help turn around Trump's young presidency. Of course, that's a tall order after Chaffetz blew the whistle on the White House in a scathing interview with Sinclair Broadcast Group.
"The reality is, sadly, I don't see much difference between the Trump administration and the Obama administration," Chaffetz said before slamming the conduct of Attorney General Jeff Sessions as "worse than what I saw with Loretta Lynch."
Chaffetz was hoping that "the floodgates would open up with all the documents we wanted from the Department of State, the Department of Justice, and the Pentagon."
But so far Trump has been reluctant to flip the switch and shine a light on critical documents about Obama-era scandals like Hillary Clinton's private email server, the Fast and Furious scheme and the IRS targeting controversy.
The left, no doubt, would dismiss new investigations into those old scandals as political witch-hunts. In reality, it's a missed opportunity for the right.
Trump regularly rails about the corruption of Washington. So why doesn't he sic Chaffetz's successor, the fiery Rep. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina, on the so-called deep state? Republican congressmen regularly complain of Democrat gridlock. So take the opportunity to side-step the obstructing minority and do real oversight.
Not only would that help placate increasingly restless conservatives, it'd be a good government move. Oversight is a key congressional responsibility that the Obama administration was more than happy to ignore.
The administration would likely respond, predictably and somewhat legitimately, that obstruction has left them short staffed and that Russian-hysteria has sapped critical resources. Still that's a challenge, not an excuse.
The president would do himself a favor if he set Congress to work draining the proverbial swamp. Trump should let lawmakers do their job. He should listen to Chaffetz.
Philip Wegmann is a commentary writer for the Washington Examiner.