Todd Ricketts, whom President Donald Trump tapped late last year to serve as deputy commerce secretary, withdrew his nomination on Wednesday after complications arose as he tried to divest his financial portfolio to avoid conflicts of interest.
Ricketts, whose billionaire family owns the Chicago Cubs and whose father was a top donor to Trump during the campaign, had been approved by the Commerce Department’s ethics team and had submitted an ethics questionnaire to the Senate Commerce Committee, a person familiar with his efforts said. Chairman John Thune (R., N.D.) said earlier this year he expected the panel to confirm him.
But the nominee ran into trouble as he sought approval from the Office of Government Ethics — which is required before Senate hearings can begin for nominees who require confirmation.
Ricketts had been prepared to divest his own financial portfolio, but was told by OGE that his entire family would have to divest in order for him to be in full compliance with ethics rules, said the person familiar with the conversations. That requirement, for Ricketts, was prohibitive.
An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.
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