Washington, DC—In response to President Trump’s new executive order on ethics, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) Chair Norman Eisen and Vice-Chair Richard Painter released the following bipartisan statement:
“While there are things to like in the Trump EO, it tears two major loopholes in the Obama executive order on ethics. First, it removes the ban on lobbyists going to work in the agencies that they lobbied. Lobbyists bring a special interest baggage with them when they pass through the revolving door when they go to work in the agencies they once lobbied. It’s as if their former employers have embedded agents of influence in the government.
Second, the Trump EO also removes Obama’s additional revolving door restrictions on non-lobbyists when they leave the government. This is another important problem in the tilted special interest playing field: shadow lobbying by those who are not registered and attempt to influence the system. Instead of continuing the Obama restrictions, or even making them tougher, Trump has eliminated them.
The new EO also betrays Trump’s drain the swamp promise in other ways. He could have closed loopholes. Instead he simply proceeds with the loophole-ridden Lobbying Disclosure Act. All in all, this is a step back from the Obama EO that very helpful in avoiding scandals in the last eight years. Mr. Trump’s EO, while it has some positive features, does not live up to his promise to drain the swamp.”