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Jay Clayton Looking to Put William Duhnke in Top Spot at PCAOB

Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
Sep 15, 2017

SEC Chair Jay Clayton may soon place William Duhnke, an aide to former Senate Banking Committee Chair Richard Shelby, as the new chair of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, replacing current chair James Doty, according to Bloomberg. His appointment would mean a shift in priorities for the PCAOB, aligning the organization more with the current administration's skepticism of government regulation. The Republican was previously discussed as a possible replacement late in 2015, but this drew sharp critiques from Democrats over his lack of experience in regulatory matters, as well as his relationship with Shelby, ultimately leading then-Chair Mary Jo White to hold off on the decision

Duhnkey is a longtime Senate staffer, having served in a number of capacities. Beyond serving as a staffer with the Senate Banking Committee, he has also served as a staffer for the Select Committee on Intelligence and the Senate Appropriations Committee. He was also a figure in the 2015 trial involving the leak of classified intelligence regarding Iran, with court testimony saying that he declined to cooperate with the FBI investigation into the matter. He also appeared in a matter involving the CIA decision to destroy tapes of the agency's harsh interrogation methods, according to the New York Times. He backed the assertion that the then-chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Pat Roberts, did not approve the decision to destroy the tapes, though noted that the decision was not unwelcome either. Duhnke said that he had originally proposed placing a committee staff member who was a trained interrogator at the CIA's secret overseas prisons to observe the interrogations, something that the CIA twice refused. While the CIA eventually did allow Senate staff to learn about the interrogation program, none were permitted to observe questioning. 

If Clayton does nominate Duhnkey to replace Doty, the commissioners will need to approve the decision. It does not need to go through Congress. 

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