Unsolicited Advice for the Trump Administration, Part 1: Government Corruption

In the spirit of Andy McCarthy offering national security advice for Trump’s transition team, I thought I’d weigh on with my own advice on assorted policy areas from my forlorn little internet outpost.  First up: fighting government corruption:

Thoroughly Investigate the Civil Service.  It is fair to say that a great many executive agencies have, under the eight years of the Obama administration, become corrupt.  Examples of such activity, including slow-walking or ignoring FOIA requests, the destruction of evidence, collaboration on lawsuits with friendly advocacy groups, protection of employees who have engaged in criminal conduct, etc., are numerous.  The Trump administration should make it a high priority to investigate each agency and determine to what extent its employees, including political appointees, engaged in such activity and terminate and prosecute, if possible, such individuals.

Ban on the Use of Private Email.  Clearly the prohibition on private email use (not to mention private servers) is inadequate.  New legislation that unequivocally bans the practice, and mandates a special prosecutor be appointed for any DOJ that refuses to prosecute such activity, is advisable.

New FOIA Agency.  The stonewalling and email destruction of the Obama years show that the present FOIA regime is of little usefulness in the hands of a corrupt administration.  I propose that a new agency be formed to handle FOIA requests.  Ideally it would be an independent agency along the lines of the FEC / FCC to bolster its impartiality.  Most critically, this agency would be the repository of the taped email backups created by each federal agency, so that the agencies from which the information is sought would not be in a position to destroy it.

Federal Employee Accountability.  Pass legislation providing that the name and job tittle of any federal employee found to have engaged in misconduct can never be withheld from public disclosure on privacy or any other grounds.

Shakedown Reform.  Pass legislation banning any federal official or agency from entering into a legal settlement that directs a portion of any monetary recovery to a non-governmental organization.

About Conrad

Conrad O'Connor is the nom de web of a tax lawyer working in Atlanta, Georgia.
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