Join The Intercept in Documenting the Conflicts of Interest of Hundreds of Trump Appointees

We've compiled over 150 ethics disclosures from Trump appointees. Help us investigate their pasts and we'll credit you in future stories.

President Donald Trump talks about the Veterans Choice Program Extension and Improvement Act before signing, Wednesday, April 19, 2017, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
President Donald Trump talks in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on April 19, 2017. Photo: Susan Walsh/AP

The Trump administration has faced a growing clamor over the glaring conflicts of interest of many of its high-level appointees.

Michael T. Flynn, President Trump’s former national security adviser, is currently under investigation for his failure to report $45,000 in fees for a speech given in Moscow to RT, the Russian state media outlet. The billionaire investor Carl Icahn has been criticized for serving as an informal and unpaid adviser to Trump, including on areas in which Icahn has a direct financial interest.

What’s more difficult to track, however, are the conflicts of interest of lower-level appointees — the personnel who execute Trump administration policy on a day to day basis.

To shed light on these appointees’ backgrounds, The Intercept and the Center for Media and Democracy have requested the Office of Government Ethics Form 278, the standard financial disclosure document, for hundreds of Trump officials. We have now received over 150 of them and compiled them in a public Google Documents table, and will be adding more as they arrive.

As seen below, we have begun examining these appointees’ previous lives in the D.C. swamp, including stints as lobbyists and trips through the industry-government revolving door.

We invite readers to join us in combing through the pasts of these appointees, as well as informing us of any officials whose disclosure forms we have not obtained. Many appointments are made without announcements and are not identified on the relevant agency websites.

We will credit you if we use any of your work in future stories. We can be contacted by email at (encryption key available here) and, or via Twitter at @LHFang and @NickSurgey. Instructions for communicating with The Intercept anonymously and with additional security are available here.

The documents show numerous potential conflicts of interest:

Anthony DeMartino, appointed as deputy chief of staff to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, previously consulted for defense contractor Palantir, helping the firm cultivate “government relationships,” according to his ethics disclosure. DeMartino’s consulting work was conducted through “SBD Advisors,” a firm with ties to high-level military officials. Former Defense Secretary Ash Carter previously worked for SBD Advisors, and its current advisory board includes retired Adm. Michael Mullen, the chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under President Barack Obama. The Defense Department did not respond to a request for comment.

Anthony DeMartino Office of the Secretary of Defense
Deputy Chief of Staff
Form 278

Travis Scott Fisher and Daniel Simmons, two appointees at the Department of Energy, previously worked for the Institute for Energy Research, a pro-fossil fuel think tank founded by oil and gas billionaire Charles Koch. The Department of Energy is deeply involved in the approval of liquified natural gas export projects, a field in which Koch’s business has deep involvement. The Department of Energy did not respond to a request for comment.

Travis Scott Fisher Department of Energy
Assistant to the Secretary
Form 278
Daniel Simmons Department of Energy
Assistant to the Secretary
Form 278

In other cases, Trump officials appear to have failed to follow the instructions for Form 278, which state that filers must name any source that paid more than $5,000 for their services. This is designed to force attorneys and lobbyists to disclose their significant clients.

Nathan Miller, appointed as a senior adviser to the Small Business Administration, is a former corporate lobbyist at a company called Public Strategies Washington. According to the required lobbying disclosure forms, Miller and other PSW staff met with Senate officials on behalf of clients including Bain Capital, Lockheed Martin, and Liberty Mutual last year in return for payments to his firm far over $5,000. However, none of these clients are listed in Miller’s presidential appointee disclosure form. Carol Wilkerson, the spokesperson for the SBA, sent us the following statement: “Utilizing our normal review processes, we have determined that appropriate disclosures were made with respect to Mr. Miller’s New Entrant OGE 278e Report.”

Nathan Miller Small Business Administration
Senior Adviser
Form 278

Anthony Pugliese, a senior White House adviser to the Department of Transportation, previously worked as a state-based lobbyist in Pennsylvania. Pugliese’s state lobbying disclosure shows clients including John Deere and Luxottica Retail North America. But Pugliese’s federal ethics disclosure reveals no client information. The Department of Transportation press office did not respond to a request for comment.

Anthony Pugliese Department of Transportation
Senior White House Adviser
Form 278

Michael Egan, appointed as the special assistant to Department of Defense White House liaison, previously worked for the Boston Consulting Group. Egan lists three consulting clients but does not disclose their identities, instead writing “Not specified” and the city where each client is headquartered. The Defense Department did not respond to a request for comment.

Michael Egan Department of Defense
Special Assistant to the White House Liaison, OSD
Form 278

Justin Schwab, a senior attorney appointed to the Environmental Protection Agency, initially only listed his former law firm Baker Hostetler and did not disclose any clients. After being contacted by reporters, Schwab refiled his disclosure, revealing that he previously worked for Southern Co., a major utility that is directly affected by the Clean Power Plan climate change regulation. “We decline to comment,” wrote Enesta Jones, EPA spokesperson, when reached for a response.

Justin Schwab EPA
Senior Adviser
Form 278

Top photo: President Donald Trump talks in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on April 19, 2017.

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