Remember when Republicans wanted transparency in White House staffers' disclosure forms?

Republicans have turned an about-face on their stance on transparency and openness in White House staffers

By Matthew Rozsa

Published May 23, 2017 11:02AM (EDT)

 (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

President Donald Trump's administration continues to be at war with the Office of Government Ethics over whether it should publicly disclose the ethics waivers it has granted to former lobbyists hired to work in the government.

But eight years ago, a top Republican pushed for the Office of Government Ethics to exert similar pressure on President Barack Obama so that "the business of the Government is done in as open and transparent manner as possible," according to a report by the Associated Press.

[salon_video id="14770322"]

That quote came from Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, who asked the OGE to pressure President Barack Obama into publicly disclosing his ethics waivers in 2009. This point was raised in a letter last week to Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney by OGE Director Walter Shaub Jr., who wrote that "the current Administration has not been complying with this established practice" of publicly disclosing ethics waivers that are granted to former lobbyists. Shaub also wrote to Mulvaney on Monday that he expects to receive the requested information within 10 days, pointedly adding, "I want to assure you that a request from the Director of the Office of Management and Budget is not something that I decline lightly."

The OGE is receiving encouragement from Democrats on the House Oversight Committee, whose chairman Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland wrote in a letter on May 19 that "it is critical that you and your office make transparent how the individuals serving in the Trump Administration are complying, or failing to comply, with President Trump’s executive order and other ethics requirements. Your role is particularly important because the White House itself is keeping this information secret."

When Shaub first learned that the White House was challenging the OGE's authority to obtain disclosure for all of the ethics waivers that the Trump administration has granted, he commented that "it is an extraordinary thing. I have never seen anything like it."

Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

MORE FROM Matthew Rozsa

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Donald Trump Office Of Government Ethics Partner Video Walter Shaub Jr.