President Trump signed Executive Order 13770 on January 28, 2017, requiring every full-time, political appointee appointed on or after January 20, 2017, to sign an Ethics Pledge (Pledge) upon accepting the political appointment. Under the Pledge, appointees commit to:
Section 3 of the Executive Order provides a waiver mechanism for any of the restrictions contained in the Pledge. The waiver must come from the President or his designee. The Executive Order also provides for enforcement of the Pledge through civil action by the Attorney General. Moreover, the Executive Order provides that any former appointee found to have violated the Pledge may be barred from engaging in lobbying activities with respect to his or her agency for up to 5 years in addition to the 5-year time period covered by the Pledge.
The Departmental Ethics Office works closely with the Department's political appointees to review the Pledge, obtain the appointee's signature, and advise the appointees on how the Pledge may affect their official duties.