President Trump’s nominee to lead the nation’s drug control efforts has withdrawn from consideration after an investigation by the Washington Post and 60 Minutes found he had spearheaded an effort to pass a law that effectively killed the Drug Enforcement Agency’s ability to shut down suspicious drug shipments.
Trump tweeted Tuesday morning that Pennsylvania Rep. Tom Marino, whom he nominated in September, had withdrawn from consideration as the country’s next drug czar. On Monday, during the wave of outrage following the investigation, Trump had said he would “look into” Marino’s role in passing the law, which crippled the agency’s most powerful tool for stemming the flow of opioids into the black market.
Democrats immediately called on Trump to rescind Marino’s nomination after the report was released, and some called for a repeal of the law. Sen. Claire McCaskill, who called Marino’s withdrawal “the right decision” in a press release, said Monday she would introduce legislation to repeal it.
Marino, who had been nominated to be the director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, was one of several members of Congress who participated in the campaign, funded by the pharmaceutical companies.The ability to freeze suspicious drug shipments was key to blocking some companies from delivering to corrupt pharmacists and doctors, who can flood the streets with a dangerous flood of narcotics. The opioid epidemic has led to the death of more than 200,000 people so far.