ProPublica went to the work of compiling a full list of Trump appointees and their industry or lobbying ties. Think of it as a cheat sheet letting you know who’s the most likely to end up in prison after this.
Here’s what we found: At least 187 Trump political appointees have been federal lobbyists, and despite President Trump’s campaign pledge to “drain the swamp,” many are now overseeing the industries they once lobbied on behalf of. We’ve also discovered ethics waivers that allow Trump staffers to work on subjects in which they have financial conflicts of interest.
The term “ethics waiver” is an odd term, by the way. Getting a “waiver” from “ethics” is something only a government or a religion could think up. It also does nothing to waive the various federal laws that make self-serving in government office a crime, meaning it’s the people who need “ethics waivers” who are most likely to come up in future corruption investigations.
We also found — for the first time — dozens of special-government employees, or SGEs, who work as paid consultants or experts for federal agencies while keeping their day jobs in the private sector. This rare government gig allows them to legally work for both industry and the Trump administration at the same time.
It also, coincidentally, gives people who could never slide by even a Republican-led vetting process a voice in top government policies.
Of particular note is the deep influence of the Koch network.
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