President Joe Biden came under fire recently from a fellow Democrat who raised possible ethics concerns about the number of White House staffers’ relatives who have secured high-level roles in his administration.
Now, Biden is facing additional scrutiny over his administration’s hiring practices in the wake of a bombshell report from The Intercept that revealed no less than 15 top advisers came from the same elite consulting firm WestExec.
“Only launched in 2017”
The Intercept sought out to address concerns about the unusually high number of former WestExec employees who moved into positions of great power, including top Cabinet positions.
“Even by Washington standards, it’s a remarkable march through the revolving door, especially for a firm that only launched in 2017,” the outlet noted.
Going on to question how such a relatively new firm managed to wield such influence, The Intercept came to just one conclusion.
“The insularity of this network of policymakers poses concerns about the potential for groupthink, conflicts of interest, and what can only be called, however oxymoronically, legalized corruption,” the report asserted.
A number of the former WestExect employees would be easy for many Americans to recognize, including White House press secretary Jen Psaki, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines.
“Broad and diverse skill set”
The firm’s footprint extends to virtually every sector of the D.C. complex, however, and experts like Washington University law professor Kathleen Clark are sounding the alarm.
“Yes, they’re employed by the government, I’ll grant you that,” Clark said of the situation, according to Breitbart. “But are they actually working for the American people or not? Where does their loyalty lie? The private sector can in essence co-opt the public sector.”
The result, she noted, is often a lack of accountability and a breakdown of the safeguards in place to protect an independent federal government.
In response to the report, the Biden administration defended its hiring practices in a statement, declaring: “These White House officials are experienced government leaders whose prior private sector experience is part of a broad and diverse skill set they bring to government service.”
For its part, WestExec touts itself as “quite literally, the road to the Situation Room,” seeming to portray the firm as a shortcut to the White House.