Ethics Group Names Trump Administration Least Ethical Ever. Here’s Why.

Two months into Trumpís administration, Care2 looked into the White Houseís level of ethics and found it lacking. Now that weíre a year in, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) has released an even more thorough report entitled ďThe Most Unethical Presidency: Year One.Ē

The lengthy report details all sorts of ethical issues that White House leadership has no intention of cleaning up. For convenience, Iíve provided an abbreviated list of some of their more troubling findings:

1. FAILING TO DIVEST FROM HIS BUSINESS INTERESTS

Unlike presidents before him, Trump did not follow through on selling off his business interests, immediately creating major conflicts of interest. Not only can he still draw money from his investments, his sons reportedly keep him updated on how theyíre doing. Foreign parties are even able to put their money into Trumpís businesses, and those transactions could easily be considered bribes.

Since entering politics, Trump has repeatedly promoted his own business ventures and continues to regularly visit a favorite golf club. At this point, itís hard to trust that the decisions Trump makes are in the best interest of the country rather than attempts to pad his own pockets.

2. NEPOTISM

Trumpís DOJ overturned a federal anti-nepotism statute (at least pertaining to the president) so that he could hire his daughter and son-in-law, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, as senior White House advisors. This couple also didnít properly divest from their investments, meaning their presence in the administration is unethical on multiple accounts.

3. OBSTRUCTING JUSTICE†

Regardless of Trumpís culpability in the Russian collusion allegations, by calling on James Comey to be loyal then firing him, asking Attorney General Jeff Sessions not to recuse himself, and dictating a cover story for his son after a known meeting with Kremlin-linked officials, thereís no doubt that heís tried to halt the investigation.

4. POLITICIZING THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT FOR PERSONAL VENDETTAS

Trump has claimed to have control over the DOJ and used that influence to push for further investigations of his political rival Hillary Clinton. When Sessions recused himself, Trump is said to have been angry that his own DOJ wasnít available to protect him Ė even though the attorney general does not serve as the presidentís personal attorney.

5. ATTACKING ETHICS RULES THEMSELVES

Upon taking office, Trump tossed out a bunch of Obamaís ethics requirements that blocked lobbyists from taking jobs in the White House, thus allowing a lot of people representing corporate interests to enter his administration. Some of these individuals required waivers, but the Trump administration has signed very few such waivers, meaning that the White House has shown little transparency in who they have hired for government positions.

6. DESTROYING RECORDS

The White House has thrown out precedents that have ensured accurate records of everyone with whom the president meets. Furthermore, communication between executive branch members often occurs not on email, but messaging apps that then destroy the message to ensure no record can be kept. Some agencies, such as the EPA, have been directed not to keep notes so that records of certain meetings wonít exist.

7. MISALLOCATION OF GOVERNMENT RESOURCES

By now, most have heard of the outrageous amounts that members of Trumpís cabinet have spent on air travel via private jet that could have been done for significantly cheaper. EPA Head Pruitt also has blown a lot of money on excessive personal security.

8. A CABINET FULL OF CONFLICTS

For several of Trumpís appointments, the person he selected was too entangled on the business side to do the job properly. One example is Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, whose widespread investments pretty much put all of his actions into question, particularly after not properly disclosing his finances. Then thereís Scott Pruitt who had at least 8 active lawsuits against the EPA as he got confirmed to lead that same agency. Letís not forget Education Secretary Betsy DeVos whose money is tied up in all sorts of for-profit educational enterprises.

9. BLOCKING FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT

The FOIA is one of the most valuable tools we have to obtain governmental records and keep tabs on whatís really going on. Though formal numbers are not yet available on the administrationís first year of FOIA requests, the early evidence suggests the Trump administration has been one of the worst in fulfilling these requests, thus keeping their dealings a secret.

10. HATCH ACT VIOLATIONS

The Hatch Act exists to prevent members of the executive branch from promoting politics while in office. However, there have been multiple examples of high-ranking White House officials Ė like KellyAnne Conway, Ryan Zinke, Nikki Haley and Dan Scavino Jr. Ė who have endorsed political candidates in violation of this rule.

Photo credit: Thinkstock

46 comments

Leanne K
Leanne K4 months ago

Oh thanks for the reminder. Funny how you can kinda forget some of those things... those really bad things. Yes we must remember.

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Leanne K
Leanne K4 months ago

If you once wrote such things into a script, that script and yourself would have been rejected as so far fetched as to be unbelievable

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ERIKA S
ERIKA SOMLAI4 months ago

noted

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David F
David F4 months ago

Kevin Mathews first paragraph refers to Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) is a left-wing attack dog masquerading as a "non-partisan watchdog." funded by a Who's Who of left-wing donors. Many of CREW's biggest funders are left-leaning organizations, including the Open Society Institute, the Tides Foundation, Democracy Alliance and Nazi collaborator George Soros.

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Peggy B
Peggy B4 months ago

TYFS

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Winn A
Winn A4 months ago

That "group" is filled with morons.

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Adele E Zimmermann
Adele E Zimmermann4 months ago

"Ethics" is a word that has never applied to Donald Trump. He is, and always has been, completely amoral. He is a perfectly horrible excuse for a human being. I know, now he will tweet that someone thinks he's "perfect".

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Mike R
Mike R4 months ago

Very accurate.

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Rhoberta E
Rhoberta E4 months ago

brian f AND paul b (the one that joined just today)
BOTS .,,,,,yada,yada, yada

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Paul B
Paul B4 months ago

http://community.aarp.org/t5/Politics-Current-Events/Classified-Memo-on-DOJ-and-FBI/m-p/1957440

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