Trump revokes lobbying ban he signed at the start of his presidency
President Donald Trump, in one of his last acts as President, revoked its own decree requiring federally appointed people to sign a pledge not to pressure the agencies in which they worked for five years after leaving administration.
The initial executive order, titled “Ethical commitments of those appointed by the executive,” was signed by Trump just 8 days after starting his presidency and also included a ban on lobbying certain officials for the rest of the administration. Trump.
In addition to the lobbying ban, the pledge also included agreements not to become registered foreign agents, not to accept gifts from lobbyists while serving in the administration.
The decree allowed former lobbyists to enter the administration, but it imposed a two-year restriction on them to work in agencies they had previously held.
The revocation was announced by the White House moments after the publication of a long list Trump’s final pardons, including controversial ones like former adviser Steve Bannon and rappers Lil Wayne and Kodak Black.
Trump’s ethical commitment had already been criticized at the same time by watchdogs for below President Barack Obama’s ethical restrictions, which prohibited appointments to anyone registered as a lobbyist in the previous year. Trump revoked that order early in his term.
“All the people standing behind me won’t be able to go to work,” Trump mentionned when signing the ban, presented as keeping his promise to “empty the swamp”.
“By repealing his ethics ordinance and letting his employees immediately become lobbyists, the man who pledged to drain the swamp has taken a giant step towards filling it,” Noah Bookbinder, executive director of the organization Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics’ non-partisan ethics watchdog in Washington, narrated Forbes in a report. “You don’t do things you are proud of at the last minute in the middle of the night when you hope no one is watching you.”
What to watch out for
Biden has already announced his intention to go back a number of more controversial executive actions by Trump during his early days in office, including withdrawing from the Paris Climate Agreement and banning travel from several Muslim-majority countries. Biden should also institute stricter ethical restrictions, according to Washington post.