Following his electoral victory in November, President Donald Trump issued a set of lobbying rules for those coming to work on his transition and for his administration. According to the President-Elect’s Transition Team (PETT) Code of Ethical Conduct, transition team members agreed “For 6 months after I leave, I will not on behalf of any other person or entity, engage in regulated lobbying activities, as defined by the Lobbying Disclosure Act, with respect to a particular matter for which I had direct and substantial responsibility during my service with PETT.” However, a recent Politico report has found at least nine members of the transition team, who have now registered as lobbyists.
According to the report, “Many are registered to lobby the same agencies or on the same issues they worked on during the transition, a POLITICO review of lobbying disclosures found. A former “sherpa” who helped to guide Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos through the Senate confirmation process is now registered to lobby her department. The former head of the transition’s tax policy team has returned to his old company to lobby Congress on tax reform. One ex-member of the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative team is now registered as part of a team lobbying on behalf of a major steelmaker.”
However, the White House has responded to the claim saying, “We have no reason to believe nor has the Transition been presented with any evidence that any individual who signed the six-month agreement as part of his or her service with the Transition is in non-compliance,” Ken Nahigian, the transition’s executive director, said in a statement, adding that the transition is “open to receiving” any evidence that does exist.