The Campaign for Accountability has called on the Office of Congressional Ethics to investigate whether staffers on the Goodlatte-chaired House Judiciary Committee broke any federal laws or House rules by helping President-elect Trump draft his executive order on immigration.
According to a CfA press release:
CfA Acting Executive Director Daniel E. Stevens stated, “Employees of the United States House of Representatives are duty-bound to serve Members of Congress and the Americans who elected them. It appears that these House staffers surreptitiously worked on issues for the President-elect, and perhaps later the White House, without even telling the members for whom they worked. The OCE should open an investigation immediately and determine whether these staffers broke any federal laws or House rules.”
On January 30, 2017, Politico reported that several House Judiciary Committee professional staff members had helped the Trump transition team draft an executive order limiting immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries. The paper also reported that the staffers signed nondisclosure agreements with the transition team, and that they did not inform the Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) or House Leadership about their work on the controversial measure.
Federal law and House rules require House staffers to work on House business and to “give a full day’s labor for a full day’s pay.” Moreover, House rules specifically state that lawyers are prohibited from consulting and advising clients beyond the House of Representatives to avoid conflicts of interest. Given that many staffers of the House Judiciary Committee are lawyers, the staffers that worked on this order may have run afoul of several laws and House rules.
You can read the CfA’s complaint here.
Congressman Goodlatte has said he “proudly allowed” his committee staff to assist Trump. However he has dodged questions about whether the staffers signed non-disclosure agreements with Trump, as has been reported.