The outstanding citizens at CREW have compiled a thorough report of all the little cracks and holes and shattered planks of our ethics system. You know, the one Trump has been trashing while the rest of us sit around yelling, “HUH????????????”
So something must be done. Some judicious rules, regulations, laws must be effected so that no administration can again do what this one has done.
Oh, I don’t like to tease you entirely, so here’s the CREW summary:
- Preventing Conflicts of Interest. Solutions include requiring the president and vice president to divest assets that pose a risk of conflict of interest within 30 days of the president’s inauguration and creating an inspector general’s office to investigate potential ethics violations across the executive branch, including within the White House.
- Improving Financial Disclosure of Candidates and Office Holders. Solutions include improving the specificity of financial disclosure forms and requiring presidential and vice presidential candidates and officeholders to disclose their tax returns prior to election.
- Enhancing Rules on Gifts to Candidates and Public Officials. Solutions include limiting contributions to inaugural committees, prohibiting sitting presidents from collecting money for their future libraries or other legacy buildings, and enhancing disclosure requirements for legal defense funds established by executive branch officials.
- Strengthening the Integrity of Government. Solutions include clarifying that the current law banning presidents from hiring immediate family members supersedes other laws on White House employment; restricting the size of federal contracts that family members of a president may receive; prohibiting a president’s family member from receiving security clearances except in certain cases; requiring disclosure of all White House visitor logs; preventing the White House from unduly interfering in Justice Department affairs; ensuring that government employees don’t improperly engage in political activities; ensuring that people who influence policy are covered by ethics rules; applying ethics and transparency rules to presidential transition teams; and ending the practice of post-election transition teams relying on private donations to fund their work.
Here’s CREW’s self-description:
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to promoting ethics and accountability in government and public life by targeting government officials — regardless of party affiliation — who sacrifice the common good to special interests. CREW advances its mission using a combination of research, litigation and media outreach.