Senator Carper Calls on Trump to Ensure Open and Transparent Communications Between Federal Agencies and Public, Member of Congress
Attempts to silence federal employees follows previous actions by Trump transition team targeting federal employees and scientists at Department of Energy and State Department
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), top Democrat on the Environment and Public Works Committee, sent a letter with eleven Senators decrying reports of instructions provided to all federal agencies to silence communications with the public and members of Congress. According to media reports, the Trump transition team has sent memos to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Departments of Transportation, Agriculture, Health and Human Services and Interior imposing a gag order on career federal employees. These memos instructed employees to, among other things, immediately cease releasing any public-facing documents, ban the release of photos and press releases to the public and terminate the use of social media.
“The American people expect an open, transparent and honest government, and your actions are not only contrary to that expectation, they promote a long lasting culture of fear among federal employees and prevent them from following their mission to openly serve the American public,” write the Senators in the letter. “Given your commitment to the rule of law and peaceful transition of power, we respectfully ask that you immediately reverse course and ensure that the dedicated federal civil servants of this country receive the respect they deserve and are immediately made aware of their clear protections under the law.”
Other Senators signing the letter include Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Kristen Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), and Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.).
A copy of the letter to President Trump can be found here.