Take Care  //  4/23/17  //  Topic Update

President Trump is staffing the White House and federal agencies with people rife with potential conflicts of interests, report Eric Lipton, Ben Protess, and Andrew W. Lehren (NYT).

The “anticorruption tools in the Anti-Trump toolkit” include statutory and constitutional provisions, writes Clara Spera in this primer at the Global Anticorruption Blog.

“Trump’s No Populist. He’s a Swamp Monster.” So begins Dana Milbank, outlining the unprecedented degree of corporate control in President Trump’s government (WaPo).

Renewed calls for President Trump to release his tax returns have gotten under the President’s skin, reports Matthew Nussbaum (Politico).

  • The President is still under IRS audit, Press Secretary Sean Spicer said Monday (Politico).

The White House’s decision to withhold visitor logs from disclosure is part of a larger pattern against transparencyclaims Nolan McCaskill at Politico.

  • Press Secretary Spicer responded to criticism by arguing that complete withholding is better than the Obama administration’s “faux” transparency (Politico). 

The new Office of American Innovation, led by Jared Kushner, can avoid the pitfalls of “crony capitalism” if it follows three pieces of advice, writes Stanley A. Weiss (WSJ).

The President’s vacation and weekend travel is “lavish and wasteful,” costing taxpayers millions of dollars, writes Eugene Robinson (WaPo).

Exxon Mobil has reapplied for a waiver from U.S. sanctions on Russia, having initially applied in 2015 when Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was CEO (WSJ).

To preserve integrity and fairness, White House has been urged to issue a robust policy imposing restrictions on White House staff contacts with other agencies regarding matters involving specific parties (United to Protect Democracy).

Analysis continues of contribution disclosures to President Trump’s inaugural committee.

  • Nicholas Fandos and Rachel Shorey give the “Who’s Who of Inaugural Donors” (NYT).
  • Energy companies and their executives donated at least $7 million to the committee (The Hill).

The President’s greatest flaw, E.J. Dionne Jr. writes, “Is his autocratic assumption that he is above the expectations that apply to us normal humans” (WaPo).

Attorney general Jeff Sessions and HHS Secretary Tom Price may have to either resign or defend a law they previously called unconstitutional, observes Michael Cannon at Cato.

Republican Congressmen, including HHS Secretary Price, have been “flouting” a “cardinal” fundraising ethics rule, charge Lee Fang and Nick Sturgey at The Intercept.

Updates | The Week of January 22, 2018

1/28/18  //  Daily Update

President Trump reportedly asked Andrew McCabe how he voted in the 2016 presidential election while McCabe was under consideration as James Comey's temporary replacement at the FBI.

Update | The Week of November 27, 2017

12/4/17  //  Daily Update

Despite President Trump's denials, the tax bill would certainly benefit him.

Jeffrey Stein

Columbia Law School