“White House Backs Down on Keeping Ethics Waivers Secret”

Eric Lipton for the NYT:

The White House unexpectedly backed down Friday in a confrontation with the government’s top ethics officer, announcing it will publicly disclose waivers that have been quietly handed out since January to let certain former lobbyists work in the administration.

The reversal came after the White House wrote last week to the Office of Government Ethics and asked its director to suspend his request for copies of the waivers. Such waivers are needed when officials want to work on policies or other government issues that they were directly involved in recently as private-sector lobbyists or industry lawyers.

The debate over the waivers — which were routinely made public during the Obama administration — has drawn heightened attention as the Trump administration has hired dozens of former lobbyists and lawyers, and is frequently placing them into jobs that overlap with the work they did for paying clients.

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