Ethics

Viewpoint: Keep Politics Out of National-Security Advisory Boards

Trump’s appointment of loyalists to DHS and DOD boards sets a dangerous precedent.

Analysis: Bill Barr’s Departure Reveals the Hollowness of Trumpism

Like Jeff Sessions before him, the attorney general discovered that all that matters to Trump is personal loyalty, not ideology.

How Dozens of Trump’s Political Appointees Will Stay in Government After Biden Takes Over

Documents show that officials appointed by Trump who’d otherwise lose their jobs under Biden have been approved for permanent positions in federal agencies.

Did Trump Delay the Arrival of At-Home Coronavirus Testing?

Some experts think that at-home testing can stop coronavirus outbreaks, and that the government should have been doing more to produce the tests.

Over 170 Groups Call for Biden Administration to Take Up Ethics Reforms Immediately 

President-elect Biden addressed many of their concerns in his campaign platform and transition plan. 

Judge Orders the Release of Data on Emergency Loans for Small Businesses

A consortium of news organizations, including ProPublica, has won a legal fight against the Small Business Administration. It will now have to publicly release the names of borrowers who got government pandemic loans.

The Transition Is (Mostly) Safe From Trump

However resolved an outgoing president might be to thwart a smooth transition, much of the process lies entirely outside his control.

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.