New “State of the Swamp” Report Focuses on Trump’s First 100 Days
President Trump “has presided over the most corrupt first hundred days in the history of the American presidency,” Common Cause asserts in a report released today.
“State of the Swamp: Ethics In President Trump’s First 100 Days,” details a long, jarring list of the new administration’s ethical shortcomings. Trump’s pugnacious refusal to release his tax returns and divest his business holdings is part of a pattern of ethical evasions and outright violations that pervades his presidency, it suggests.
“The scope of the ethical failings by the president and his administration is breathtaking,” said Common Cause President Karen Hobert Flynn. “It betrays a contempt for his bosses – the American people - and for our democracy. The president, already very wealthy, has received the highest honor Americans can bestow. But instead of giving back, he appears to be using his public office for private gain.
“This report should be a rallying cry for the millions of Americans, of every party and political persuasion, who fear our democracy is slipping away,” Hobert Flynn added. “And they’re already responding.”
The report and an accompanying website, stateoftheswamp.com, documents the dangers of the president’s refusal to release his tax returns and separate himself from his worldwide network of hotels, resorts and other businesses. It also examines his failure to impose and enforce strong ethical standards on himself, his cabinet, federal agencies, and members of his family who are working for him in the White House.
The report concludes with a series of recommendations Common Cause will work to advance to ensure presidential ethics and transparency for future generations:
- Required disclosure of at least five years of federal tax returns by major party candidates for president and vice president, in order to give the voting public information regarding such candidates’ personal finances and potential conflicts of interest.
- Strengthened personal financial disclosure requirements, see 5 U.S.C. app. §§ 101-111, to require president and vice president to disclose more detailed information regarding income and debt.
- Required disclosure of White House visitor logs and visitor logs of other venues where the president regularly conducts business (e.g., H.R.1711 / S.721, MAR-A-LAGO Act).
- Required electronic public disclosure via the White House website of ethics agreements signed by Executive Branch political appointees, and any waivers granted by the White House to the signing of such agreements.
- Strengthened “revolving door” lobbying restrictions for political appointees both entering and leaving Executive Branch employment.
- Requiring the president and vice president to place all assets that create conflicts of interest into a blind trust managed by an independent trustee who oversees the conversion of the assets into conflict-free holdings (e.g., H.R.371 / S.65, Presidential Conflicts of Interest Act of 2017).
To view “State of the Swamp,” click here.
To view this release online, click here.
Common Cause is a nonpartisan, nonprofit advocacy organization founded in 1970 by John Gardner as a vehicle for citizens to make their voices heard in the political process and to hold their elected leaders accountable to the public interest.