National Freedom of Information Coalition
Protecting Your Right to Open Government

Democrats seek legislation to force more transparency from Trump administration

In an effort to prevent or expose conflicts of interest in the executive branch, House and Senate Democrats are pushing legislation that would force senior members of the Trump administration to reveal more about their business interests.

The legislation, which was introduced this week, would empower the Office of Government Ethics to request subpoenas from a federal court to conduct formal investigations. The office, known as OGE, has lacked that authority since Congress created it 40 years ago in the wake of the Watergate scandal.

It also would make it more likely that ethics agreements now kept secret by the White House, including one by Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law and advisor, would be made public.

“This legislation would give our nation’s top ethics watchdog real teeth,” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.). He said the bill seeks “basic accountability for the kind of egregious ethics violations we’ve become accustomed to during the Trump administration, ensuring that our nation’s leaders are serving the American people, not their own self-interest.” Read more…