March 16, 2018
Best of the Week — First Winner
Draining the swamp? AP reporters find at least 37 Trump administration officials with ethics waivers
It was a major catchphrase of Donald Trump’s campaign: He would “drain the swamp” in Washington.
But once Trump took office, Washington’s Michael Biesecker wasn’t seeing it. Government officials, it appeared, were working on issues they lobbied for on behalf of private clients. He set out to track the administration’s hiring and measure it against Trump’s pledge.
It did not measure up.
Biesecker and colleagues Juliet Linderman and Richard Lardner found that at least 37 appointees across the government had been granted ethics waivers, allowing them to regulate the very industries in which they had worked. For plumbing the depths of the swamp, their story is Beat of the Week.