The New York Times: Advising Bolton is a 'Shadow N.S.C.'


In the weeks after President Trump chose John Bolton to be his third national security adviser in March, Mr. Bolton, a veteran of the George W. Bush State Department whose bellicose manner kept him from a high-level job at the beginning of the Trump administration, engaged in his own speeded-up transition process, aided by a handful of longtime associates.


It could be ethically fraught to have consultants who do business with the government “moonlighting” as advisers to Mr. Bolton, according to Walter Shaub, who resigned as head of the Office of Government Ethics after repeatedly calling out the Trump administration for ethical lapses.

He pointed out that unofficial advisers like Mr. Freedman are not covered by conflict-of-interest rules. And even though temporary employees like Mr. Kupperman are covered by ethics rules and required to disclose their outside interests to their agencies, those disclosures are not made public.

The lack of transparency “means we have no way of knowing whether these individuals are accessing information that could prove useful for their own private government consulting activities,” Mr. Shaub said.

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