Which White House Employees Got An Ethics Order Exemption?

The Trump administration granted 14 ethics waivers to White House staff, essentially giving recipients a free pass from ethics stipulations.
Posted at 2:34 PM, Jun 01, 2017

The White House revealed Wednesday it has granted 14 ethics waivers to various members of President Donald Trump's staff.

At the start of his term, Trump signed an executive order that limited the contact select government employees could have with former clients and employers. It also restricted what lobbyists could do in his administration.

But these ethics waivers essentially grant certain White House staffers a free pass.

Kellyanne Conway, who's the counselor to the president, got the OK to talk with former clients. And White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus can keep up with the Republican National Committee.

The waiver could also let Priebus keep a $100,000 bonus he received from the RNC.

All executive office appointees got a broad waiver, giving them permission to talk with news organizations on "broad policy" issues.

That applies to chief strategist Steve Bannon, who formerly ran Breitbart News. It also appears to retroactively clear Bannon of any ethics violations over his reported conversations with Breitbart employees after he joined the White House.

Vice President Mike Pence's chief of staff also got a waiver. Prior to joining Pence's White House team, Joshua Pitcock was a lobbyist for the state of Indiana. The waiver gives him permission to work with state officials on a number of issues, including refugee policy, opioid abuse issues and tax reform.

Three other former lobbyists — Michael Catanzaro, Shahira Knight and Andrew Olmem — were granted waivers allowing them to continue working on issues they'd lobbied for.

Right now, we only know about the ethics waivers issued in the White House, not across Trump's entire administration. The White House hasn't said yet if any were granted to federal agencies.

Over former President Barack Obama's eight years, his administration issued 66 individual ethics waivers.

The Trump administration has so far published 11 individual waivers, but three others affect large groups of executive branch employees.