Senate Dems want Trump to release ethics waivers, visitor logs
© 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 WhitehouseSenate panel questions Lynch on alleged FBI interference Judiciary Committee to continue Russia probe after Mueller meeting GOP hits the gas on ObamaCare repeal MORE (R.I.), Tom UdallTom UdallDems, greens press Trump administration on methane rewrites Overnight Regulation: House passes bill to roll back Dodd-Frank | Sage grouse back in the spotlight | GOP chair won't back Glass-Steagall revival Overnight Tech: FCC disputes reporter's account of 'manhandling' incident | Verizon to cut 2K jobs at Yahoo | Russians used spyware on Instagram | Virginia moves on 5G networks MORE (N.M.), Tom CarperTom CarperDems push for more action on power grid cybersecurity Overnight Energy: Lawmakers challenge Trump's proposed EPA cuts Overnight Energy: Tillerson maintains support for Paris deal despite Trump decision MORE (Del.), Martin HeinrichMartin HeinrichDems push for more action on power grid cybersecurity The Memo: Five takeaways from Jeff Sessions’s testimony Overnight Cybersecurity: Sessions denies Russia collusion | First agency gets 'A' grade on IT | Feds out North Korean botnet | Unusual security update for Windows XP MORE (N.M.), Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenWhat does the working class want? Better schedules. Live coverage: Senate GOP unveils its ObamaCare repeal bill Overnight Regulation: Labor groups fear rollback of Obama worker protection rule | Trump regs czar advances in Senate | New FCC enforcement chief MORE (Mass.), Ed MarkeyEd MarkeyDems push for more action on power grid cybersecurity Dem senator: Trump 'doesn't respect' the presidency Overnight Regulation: Labor groups fear rollback of Obama worker protection rule | Trump regs czar advances in Senate | New FCC enforcement chief 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."