Lawyers who helped the Obama administration stay within the White House code of conduct have created a new campaign group to monitor whether President Trump will break those guidelines. The group is called United to Protect Democracy and has pledged to prepare and fight Trump if he does breach ethical codes. “We need an organization that is specifically and holistically focused on that worst-case scenario,” said Ian Bassin, who leads United to Protect Democracy. The lawyers have already raised a $1.5 million operating budget and hired five staffers. “When people hear concerns about democracies declining into authoritarianism, they expect that moment to come in a singular thunderclap where everyone can see that this is the time,” said Bassin. “In reality, often times, democracies decline over a period of years that happen through a series of much smaller steps.” The group has already submitted 50 Freedom of Information Act requests, with the plan to present their findings to reporters and then eventually file lawsuits based on any problematic discoveries.
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