Ethics

The Politicization of the State Department Is Almost Complete

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his predecessor, Rex Tillerson, have weaponized the institution for the Trump administration’s domestic political objectives.

Veterans Affairs Secretary Headlines GOP Fundraiser as COVID-19 Cases Surge

Electioneering by a cabinet secretary is unusual by historical standards, but Trump administration officials continue to show no reluctance to play politics.

GovExec Daily: Reducing Lobbyist and Corporate Influence

Courtney Bublé joins the podcast to discuss a letter from House Democrats to Senate leadership urging against lobbyists in the executive branch.

House Democrats Seek to Reduce Corporate Influence in the Federal Government

A group of progressive-leaning House Democrats urged the Senate to not confirm lobbyists or C-suite officials for political appointments. 

What Donald Trump Doesn’t Want to Hear

White House aides cater to the president’s emotional needs, at the expense of the country’s interests and his own health.

The Justice Department May Have Violated Attorney General Barr’s Own Policy Memo

In a memo from May, the attorney general reminded Justice Dept. prosecutors to avoid partisan politics. Then a U.S. attorney in Pennsylvania announced an election investigation that had partisan overtones.

Trump’s Vaccine Czar Refuses to Give Up Stock in Drug Company Involved in His Government Role

The administration calls Moncef Slaoui, who leads its vaccine race, a “contractor” to sidestep rules against personally profiting from government positions. Slaoui owns $10 million in stock of a company working with his team to develop a vaccine.

The Inside Story of the Mueller Probe’s Mistakes

In a new book, Andrew Weissmann, one of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s top deputies, lays out the limits and letdowns of the years-long Russia investigation.

GovExec Daily: Career Feds and Political Interference

Eric Katz joins the podcast to discuss the investigations into interference into agency work.

What Are Parents Supposed to Do With Their Kids?

With public schools closed, at least 15 states have no free child-care options for essential workers.

The Trump Administration Is Backing Out of a $647 Million Ventilator Deal After ProPublica Investigated the Price

The government overpaid by hundreds of millions for Philips ventilators, says a House investigation spurred by ProPublica reporting. Now that deal is off and Congress is scrutinizing other coronavirus deals made by trade adviser Peter Navarro.

Now in Government Food Aid Boxes: A Letter From Donald Trump

Democrats say the letter violates the law against using government resources to campaign. It’s just the latest example of President Trump using his office to boost his reelection hopes.

Family Photos at Work Curb Fraud and Unethical Activity

When employees display photos of their friends and family at work, they're less likely to engage in fraud or unethical behavior, researchers say.

The United States Versus Steve Bannon

Masked and handcuffed, President Trump’s former chief strategist was arraigned on charges of fraud.

One Federal Agency Was Suing Him for Fraud. Another Paid His Company Millions for Masks.

Court records show the federal government gave $20 million in contracts to a company partly controlled by a man with a history of shady business practices.

Trump Friends and Family Cleared for Millions in Small Business Bailout

Beneficiaries of the PPP included a lettuce farming venture backed by Trump’s son, Kushner companies, and a dentist who golfs with the president. The figures were released after a lawsuit by several news organizations, including ProPublica.

Analysis: Should the President Pick the Attorney General?

Attorneys general who serve at the pleasure of the president are more likely to act in pursuit of a particular political agenda, rather than solely in accordance with the rule of law.