Biden pressured to disclose political appointees’ ethics agreements as advisor’s brother lobbies White House

U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the COVID-19 response and the state of vaccinations at the South Court Auditorium of Eisenhower Executive Office Building on April 21, 2021 in Washington, DC.

Alex Wong | Getty Images

Several watchdog and activist groups are pressuring President Joe Biden to publicly release ethics agreements signed by political appointees in his administration who are not subject to Senate confirmation.

In a letter sent to Biden on Thursday that was shared exclusively with CNBC, over a dozen organizations demanded that the administration publicize the agreements made by his political advisors and others.

The groups sent the letter a day after CNBC reported that Jeff Ricchetti, the brother of Biden White House counselor Steve Ricchetti, has lobbied the White House on behalf of health-care companies this year.

These political appointees are not required to publicly disclose their ethics agreements, which could include notices of recusal from certain policy matters that may involve prior clients or business dealings.

“You have the means to address this lack of transparency right away by requiring that every employee of the White House, in addition to other senior-level political appointees throughout the executive branch, agree to have their ethics documents made publicly available. We, the undersigned, are calling on you to make this commitment without delay,” the letter says.

The groups who signed the letter include the Revolving Door Project, the Government Accountability Project and Jacobs Institute of Women’s Health.

The letter comes after several reports showing that many of Biden’s advisors who did not have to be confirmed by the Senate were paid millions in their prior lines of work and that some have ties to Wall Street and Big Tech.

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