CONFLICTS OF INTEREST

While employed at the Center, Klein played a key role in challenging almost every major policy of the Department under President Trump.  As deputy director, she hired "pro bono fellows" to sue the Trump Administration, coordinate with the the Center's PR consultants, and then report back on their activities. All the while using private donor funds.  Now she's seeking to switch sides. Like the mouse guarding the cheese, Klein's prominent role as Secretary Haaland's Senior Counselor raises serious conflict of interest and impartiality concerns.

 

The Center claimed credit for a substantial amount of litigation, regulatory battles, and policy disputes pursued by state AGs. Given the reporting structure, financial arrangements, and close coordination on public communications, has Elizabeth Klein been told she can work on any of these matters? Is she already in the building making decisions?

Has Klein disclosed to ethics officials that she hired the litigators, provided direction, and handed out bonuses to state AG officials who advanced her employer’s policy agenda? 

 

A cursory look at the ethics obligations of high-ranking officials like Elizabeth Klein would indicate she is prohibited from working on a substantial number of high profile issues currently before the Department. If she didn't recuse herself, it would appear to be a textbook example of one giant conflict of interest.

What ethics advice has Klein been given? How are the entities within Bloomberg Philanthropies or Bloomberg's multiple other business ventures being treated? Do they have business before the Department and is Elizabeth Klein seeking ethics advice before all of her external meetings to ensure she is permitted to participate in any of those particular matters?