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Trump Frees Aides From Ethics Pledge   01/20 06:17


   WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Donald Trump, in one of his final acts of 
office, released current and former members of his administration from the 
terms of their ethics pledge, which included a five-year ban on lobbying their 
former agencies.

   The ethics pledge was outlined in one of Trump's first executive orders, 
signed on Jan. 28, 2017, as part of his campaign pledge to "drain the swamp." 
It required Trump's political appointees to agree to the lobbying ban, as well 
as pledge not to undertake work that would require them to register as a 
"foreign agent" after leaving government. Trump's order authorized the attorney 
general to investigate any breaches of the ethics pledge and to pursue civil 
suits if necessary.

   Trump signed the one-page revocation of the order on Tuesday, and it was 
released by the White House shortly after 1 a.m. Wednesday, hours before his 
term ends.

   The new order states: "Employees and former employees subject to the 
commitments in Executive Order 13770 will not be subject to those commitments 
after noon January 20, 2021."

   President Bill Clinton signed a similar order with weeks left on his final 
term, allowing former aides to go directly into lobbying after leaving his 

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