Biden ethics order marks departure from Trump administration

President-elect Joe Biden and his wife Jill Biden are greeted by Delaware Adjutant General Michael Berry and his wife Gen. Karen Berry before they board a plane at New Castle Airport, Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021, in New Castle, Del. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
President-elect Joe Biden and his wife Jill Biden are greeted by Delaware Adjutant General Michael Berry and his wife Gen. Karen Berry before they board a plane at New Castle Airport, Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021, in New Castle, Del. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

WASHINGTON – President-elect Joe Biden will issue an executive order after taking office, aimed at reinstating White House ethics standards that were diminished or disregarded by the Trump administration.

President Donald Trump campaigned on draining the “swamp” of entrenched influences in Washington. Yet in practice, the Trump administration weakened ethics rules and failed to enforce the those he adopted, government watchdog groups say.

The new ethics rules, which were described by an official on Biden's transition, aim to not only restore Obama-era practices but strengthen them.

They are intended to minimize the ethics minefield posed by the “revolving door” of incoming former lobbyists and consultants who typically staff presidential administrations, as well as the future employment of departing officials who often find lucrative jobs in Washington's influence industry.

The official who detailed the new rules spoke on the condition of anonymity because Biden is not yet in office and the order, which was first reported by The Washington Post, has not yet been made public.

Under the order, officials who leave the administration will be prohibited from lobbying the White House for Biden's duration in office. Those who depart toward the end of Biden's tenure will be prohibited from lobbying the White House for at least two years.

In some ways, the new rules go further than those that governed Obama's administration.

One provision prohibits incoming administration officials from accepting “golden parachute” payments from their former employers for taking a government job.