© Getty Images
A group of Senate Democrats is pushing the Trump administration to release White House visitor logs and hand over details on what officials have been given ethics waivers.
Democratic Sens. Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseDem senators ask Bannon for more info about Breitbart contact Senate Dems want Trump to release ethics waivers, visitor logs Senators offer bill to boost police training in cyber crime MORE (R.I.), Tom UdallTom UdallSenate Dems want Trump to release ethics waivers, visitor logs Dem senator: Congress should force White House to publish visitor logs Senate Dems offer bill to restore internet privacy rules MORE (N.M.), Tom CarperTom CarperDems probe claims of religious bias in DHS 'trusted traveler' program Senate Dems want Trump to release ethics waivers, visitor logs Medicare’s coverage decisions need more input from physicians MORE (Del.), Martin HeinrichMartin HeinrichSenate Dems want Trump to release ethics waivers, visitor logs Senate Dems offer bill to restore internet privacy rules Overnight Cybersecurity: Rice denies wrongly unmasking Trump team | Dems plead for electric grid cyber funds | China reportedly targeting cloud providers MORE (N.M.), Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenWarren builds her brand with 2020 down the road Warren: Trump 'all talk' on Wall Street Dem senators ask Bannon for more info about Breitbart contact MORE (Mass.), Ed MarkeyEd MarkeyDem senators ask Bannon for more info about Breitbart contact Dem lawmaker: FCC now stands for 'Forgetting Choice and Competition' Senate Dems want Trump to release ethics waivers, visitor logs MORE (Mass.) and Tammy Duckworth (Ill.) sent a letter to President Trump warning that "secrecy is becoming the hallmark of the Trump White House."
"Scandal follows conflict of interest like night follows day," they wrote in the letter, which was sent Thursday. "When industry captures its regulators, the American people rarely benefit. We hope our assessment of your administration is wrong."
The senators ask Trump to publicly disclose any ethics waivers given to administration officials "as soon as they are granted" and release logs showing who visits the White House.
They warned if he doesn't take the steps "we are prepared to press for legislation to address these issues."
The White House announced on Friday that it wouldn't follow the Obama administration's policy of publicly releasing the White House logs, citing privacy and national security concerns.
The Democratic lawmakers added that if "'grave national security risks' are a legitimate concern, provide us the specific basis for your decision and work with us to develop a policy that addresses those concerns."
The Trump administration sparked outrage from Democrats and watchdog groups over its decision. The Obama administration released its logs with a three to four month delay; under Trump's policy the logs will be kept secret until five years after he leaves office.
The senators also pointed to a recent New York Times report, which warned that the Trump administration "is populating the White House and federal agencies" with individuals that recently worked for the industries they are now tasked with overseeing.
The Trump administration rolled out an executive order in late January that placed a five-year ban on executive officials lobbying the agencies they worked for.
The ethics pledge also bars former lobbyists who join the Trump administration from participating in "any particular matter involving specific parties that is directly and substantially" tied to their former boss or clients or participating "in any particular matter on which I lobbed" for two years.
But the administration has been hit by reports that they are sidestepping their own ethics rules and criticized as weakening Obama-era rules on former lobbyists joining the administration.
The Trump administration has nixed an Obama-era rule requiring the Office of Government Ethics to publish an annual report detailing who received ethics waivers.
But the senators argued in their letter that "it appears you have undermined it by freely and secretly issuing waivers to allow former lobbyists to work on matters that could benefit their former clients."