Trump Revokes Lobbying Ban After Promising to ‘Drain the Swamp’

Donald Trump revoked his administration’s ethics pledge banning political appointees from lobbying their former colleagues in a late-night executive order issued in the final hours of his presidency.

The move frees former administration officials to begin immediately lobbying federal agencies and employees.

Trump did not justify his decision in the executive order, saying simply that his political appointees would “not be subject to those commitments after noon January 20, 2021.”

Trump’s ethics pledge originally restricted political appointees from lobbying the agencies they worked at for five years after leaving government employment. The order also prohibited former political appointees from lobbying work for a foreign government or foreign political party.

Trump, who campaigned on “draining the swamp” in Washington, previously championed the restrictions as more stringent than previous administrations.

“This is a five-year lobbying ban,” Trump said when he signed the order. “It’s a two-year ban now, and it’s got full of loopholes, and this is a five-year ban.”

Many members of Trump’s inner circle have struggled to find outside employment, even before he was impeached a second time for his role in an insurrection by supporters who stormed the U.S. Capitol to disrupt certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.

Biden’s team has said they plan to introduce ethics rules of their own in the early days of his administration, including the resumption of publicly releasing White House visitor logs, a practice Trump stopped when he entered office.

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