WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representative Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ), a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, released the following statement following news that former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn was not required to sign an ethics pledge under President Trump's "Drain The Swamp" initiative.
"The White House made clear on March 13 that ‘all administration officials who come in are required to sign that ethics pledge.’ Like too many things coming from this White House, we now know this is not true. Despite Michael Flynn’s short tenure as National Security Advisor, he never signed his pledge," Pascrell said today.
Rep. Pascrell sent a letter to President Trump on March 9, 2017 to inquire whether Flynn would be required to abide by the pledge (link to Pascrell letter).
"Under President Obama, all ethics pledge waivers were made public on the White House website. I want a formal reply to my letter. President Trump, if he is serious about ‘draining the swamp,’ needs to release a list of any individuals who did not sign his pledge or were given waivers. No more lies. No more obfuscation," Pascrell said.
The executive order, Ethics Commitments by Executive Branch Appointees, was signed by President Trump on January 28, 2017 (link to executive order). The order imposes a five year ban on lobbying for executive branch appointees, in addition to a lifetime ban on lobbying on behalf of any foreign government.
On March 13, the White House press secretary had the following back and forth with a reporter (link to transcript):
Q - There’s a five-year lobbying ban that’s been imposed upon all Trump administration employees. Does that also apply to Michael Flynn? Would he not be permitted to lobby now for five years because of the agreement that he signed when he became the national security advisor?
A - That would be correct. I’d have to check and actually figure out when he signed or if he signed the form. But yes, all administration officials who come in are required to sign that ethics pledge banning them from lobbying for five years and then a lifetime ban on lobbying on behalf of any foreign government.