Ethics in Government

June 08, 2023

Andrea Beaty

Press Release Anti-MonopolyEthics in GovernmentFTCRevolving Door

PRESS RELEASE: Revolving Door Lawyers Aim To Dismantle Antitrust Enforcement Authorities

Cravath, Swaine & Moore’s Christine Varney, a former head of the US Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division, and other BigLaw lawyers representing Illumina and Grail filed a brief this week seeking to secure a merger which the FTC said would “diminish innovation in the U.S. market” for cancer detection tests. Revolving Door Project Research Director Andrea Beaty released the following statement concerning the brief and its authors.

June 01, 2023 | The American Prospect

Timi Iwayemi

Op-Ed 2024 ElectionEthics in GovernmentExecutive Branch

How to Cover a Presidential Campaign

As the past six years have clearly illuminated, hollowing out government capacity and rewarding loyalists is at the heart of the Trump gospel, and leveraging power is DeSantis’s modus operandi as well. As coverage of the Republican primaries ramps up, the press must focus on how this style of executive branch mismanagement endangers democracy and the public interest. That’s more important than trying to figure out if DeSantis has the personality to sell this anti-democratic vision.

May 26, 2023

Jeff Hauser

Press Release Ethics in GovernmentExecutive BranchGovernanceGovernment CapacityMedia Accountability

RELEASE: Revolving Door Project Reacts to Biden’s Debt Ceiling Cave & the Media’s Incompetent Coverage

In response to the emergence of the structure of a potential deal between President Biden and Speaker McCarthy, Revolving Door Project Executive Director Jeff Hauser issued the following statement: 

“There are three aspects to the substance and coverage of this debate that have been infuriating.”

May 24, 2023 | Revolving Door Project Newsletter

Toni Aguilar Rosenthal

Newsletter

Congressional OversightEthics in GovernmentGovernance

Who’s Going To Keep Corporations Honest?

The Washington Post last week ran a delightful little synopsis of Senator Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) true passion: congressional oversight. Bernie is revered for his willingness to hold corporations and their CEOs accountable for their villainy, and how he does so with extraordinary dexterity. Be it by ruthlessly interrogating Big Pharma executives for their murderous price gouging of lifesaving treatments or humiliating Howard Schultz for being a whiny billionaire union-buster, Bernie Sanders makes congressional oversight hearings fun. The fun he makes for himself and for the public he strives to give real voice to through speaking truth to power is not just gratifying; it also helps sharpen congressional oversight into a tool to actually achieve something.

May 22, 2023

Jeff Hauser

Press Release Department of JusticeEthics in Government

RELEASE: The Justice Department Should Not Defend The Legal Incoherence That Is The Debt Ceiling

On Friday, May 19, the National Association of Government Employees filed an emergency motion in their lawsuit against President Joe Biden and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. NAGE urged the Massachusetts District Court to issue a preliminary injunction holding that the debt ceiling violates the separation of powers and Presentment Clause set forth in Articles I and II of the U.S. Constitution. 

May 17, 2023 | Revolving Door Project Newsletter

Hannah Story Brown

Newsletter ClimateCongressional OversightEthics in GovernmentExecutive Branch

Progressive Counteroffers to Manchin’s Dirty Deal, Debt Ceiling Edition

Manchin’s dirty deal is back on the table, again, according to coverage of the play-by-play of Biden and congressional leaders’ not-not-negotiations over raising the debt ceiling. Whether or not Manchin’s proposal gets packaged with a debt ceiling deal, it seems the question is when, not if, it gets taken up. That’s due in large part to Biden and Schumer’s unjustifiable fealty to Manchin, the administration’s chief saboteur, whose latest pledge is to block all of Biden’s EPA nominees.

April 26, 2023 | Revolving Door Project Newsletter

Hannah Story Brown

Newsletter

Congressional OversightEthics in Government

Tyranny, Thy Name is SCOTUS

We can be forgiven for thinking that Clarence Thomas set a high-water mark for judicial corruption that would be hard for his colleagues to surpass. Just yesterday, a new investigation from The Intercept and the Project on Government Oversight deepened what we know of Thomas and billionaire donor Harlan Crow’s financial ties, highlighting how Crow purchased a second citizenship in the tax haven island nation of St. Kitts and Nevis, which makes tracking Crow’s financial transactions—including his gifts to Thomas—extremely difficult. The investigators point out that this will complicate Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden’s request that Crow provide evidence that he “complied with all relevant federal tax and ethics laws.” Nothing worrisome about a top U.S. justice being financially entangled with a billionaire who changed his citizenship to evade U.S. law!

April 25, 2023 | Common Dreams

Dylan Gyauch-Lewis Toni Aguilar Rosenthal

Op-Ed Congressional OversightEthics in GovernmentSupreme Court

Clarence Thomas and Democratic Fecklessness

Earlier this month, ProPublica released a report documenting decades of undisclosed lavish gifts Justice Clarence Thomas and his family received from Republican mega-donor Harlan Crow. These gifts included a yacht trip around Indonesia, flights on Crow’s private jet, free stays at Crow’s private country club, and more. One week later, the news outlet published a follow-up report detailing how Thomas also sold property to Crow without disclosing it. Thomas’s mother has continued to reside at that property rent-free while Crow funds significant renovations.

April 20, 2023 | The American Prospect

Hannah Story Brown

Op-Ed ClimateCongressional OversightCorporate CrackdownEthics in Government

Exxon’s Unethical Supreme Court Play

As the revelations of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’s flagrant corruption continue to unspool, scrutiny of the weak ethics rules binding the Court has intensified. The Senate Judiciary Committee is supposed to oversee the Court, but it has proven itself not remotely up to the task of rooting out judicial corruption. And amid this disturbing situation, a Supreme Court conference this Friday provides an opening for Court conservatives to try to game their few ethical limits in plain sight.

April 18, 2023 | The New Republic

Hannah Story Brown

Op-Ed

2020 Election/TransitionClimateDepartment of JusticeEthics in GovernmentGovernanceRevolving Door

The Ghost of a Trump Appointee Is Haunting Merrick Garland’s Justice Department

Tracing Clark’s lingering impact on ongoing litigation makes clear that the legacy of Trump’s Justice Department still haunts our governance and that failing to treat his cronies like the menace they are is worsening outcomes across the country. In some cases, Attorney General Merrick Garland is still carrying forward with the arguments Clark helped shape. In others, the Justice Department and its client agencies are at a critical juncture of having to decide whether to break from past positions or maintain continuity with positions they adopted during the Trump administration.

April 12, 2023 | Revolving Door Project Newsletter

Hannah Story Brown

Newsletter

Congressional OversightCorporate CrackdownEthics in Government

This Era of Elite Impunity Must End

What is it called when one of the nine most powerful judges in the U.S.—a man whose title is literally Justice—has routinely accepted secret private jet rides and luxury yacht vacations from a billionaire right-wing mega-donor for over two decades? What does it mean that this was not disclosed, in violation of the Ethics in Government Act? If the ruling class wants the public to believe that the rule of law means anything to them, then the answer must be “breaking the law,” necessitating investigations, trials, and professional consequences.