The ethics rules that apply to Presidential appointees shifted Wednesday, in some ways significantly, as President Biden, just hours after being sworn in, signed an “Executive Order on Ethics Commitments by Executive Branch Personnel” and President Trump, just hours before his term expired, revoked his Executive Order on Ethics.
While the Biden and Trump Executive Orders differ in some significant ways, it would be too simplistic to characterize the new rules as more restrictive. President Biden did announce additional ethics restrictions not present in the now-repealed Trump Executive Order, but he also relaxed some of the more restrictive provisions in the Trump Executive Order. Generally speaking, President Biden has imposed greater restrictions on people joining government but fewer restrictions on people leaving government.
This advisory summarizes the key differences between the Biden and Trump Executive Orders on Ethics and highlights the implications of these orders for those entering or exiting the Administration and the companies that hire former Administration officials.