The Trump administration laid bare many longstanding vulnerabilities and opportunities for abuse of power in our system of governance. Unchecked presidential conflicts of interest, interference from the White House in cases at the Justice Department, politically motivated meddling in scientific research at environmental and public health agencies, and the subversion of the confirmation process for political appointees are among the abuses we have catalogued across presidential administrations.
In almost every case, the only safeguards against these abuses are unwritten rules. Now is the time to reinforce these guardrails and restore public trust in government. To that end, the Brennan Center convened a task force of former senior government officials who have served in both Republican and Democratic presidential administrations to advise on a comprehensive agenda for legislative action to uphold the rule of law. The task force’s report calling for robust executive action to ensure that government officials serve the public interest.