It begins. From The Nation.
Trump is flouting not only his self-imposed rules against conflicts of interests but also one of the cruxes of his presidential campaign. “There is a fundamental conflict in the transition team between the promises that the president-elect made on the campaign trail, and the excitement that he generated among ordinary voters who felt very strongly that Washington was no longer answering to them, but was instead answering to big special interests,” Senator Sheldon Whitehouse told reporters Friday. “This array of big special-interest operatives and lobbyists who are now engaged in this transition in these exact places where their conflict of interest is most acute.”
These transition landing teams are not ceremonial positions, either. These operators are serving vitally important roles. “All this matters because these people will be selecting people to staff the new agencies, and set[ting] the early trajectory,” said Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen.
If he’s going to pack his transition team with corporate interests, Trump could at least provide some transparency into what they are doing. In 2008, Barack Obama created a website that disclosed every meeting his transition team had with three or more non–transition team members, regardless of the topic of the meeting, provided it didn’t deal with national security or sensitive personnel decisions. The website also posted every document it received from an outside interest, and Obama voluntarily exposed the transition team’s internal documents to the Freedom of Information Act, even though transition teams are essentially non-governmental outfits and not subject to FOIA by law.
I expect legislation which will water down the Freedom of Information Act considerably.
Update: Amazing, and he’s not even President yet. He’s going to make a killing!
“It’s fair to say that we may have had some influence.”