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Protecting Whistleblowers since 1977

Grassley to Trump: Whistleblowers Are Key to ‘Draining the Swamp’

Staff, February 09, 2017
In Letter to President, Grassley Seeks Ceremony Honoring Whistleblowers
 
WASHINGTON – Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley is calling on President Donald Trump to empower whistleblowers who bring attention to fraud, waste and misconduct in government.  In a letter today to Trump, Grassley noted that whistleblowers can be instrumental in helping to “drain the swamp” in Washington by shedding light on fraud, waste and abuse within the bureaucracy. Grassley requested that Trump hold a White House Rose Garden ceremony to honor the work of whistleblowers, and send a clear message that misconduct in the bureaucracy and reprisal for those who seek to correct it will not be tolerated.
 
“Whistleblowers are brave, patriotic people who tell the truth about what is going on in our government.  They help us identify waste, fraud, and abuse in the vast and unwieldy federal bureaucracy,” Grassley said in the letter. “A Rose Garden ceremony honoring whistleblowers, with the President of the United States praising the courage and sacrifice of individuals who have put so much on the line to make sure the taxpayers have a better, more responsible government, would epitomize your call for a new way of doing business in Washington.  It would send a loud and clear signal from the very top of government through the very bowels of the unelected bureaucracy that your administration will not tolerate waste, fraud and abuse.”
 
For years, Grassley has been a fierce advocate for whistleblowers.  He has called on every president since Ronald Reagan to hold a ceremony honoring whistleblowers and encouraging others who may be privy to instances of government mismanagement.
 
Grassley is the author of nearly a dozen laws to empower whistleblowers and shield them from retaliation for speaking the truth.  In a bicameral letter last week, Grassley encouraged the Trump Administration to protect whistleblowers from reprisal and to direct agency leaders to remind employees of their rights as whistleblowers.
 
Grassley is also the founder of the Senate Whistleblower Protection Caucus, which shares best practices with Senate offices, advocates and government stakeholders on how to protect and effectively interact with whistleblowers.
 
Grassley’s letter to Trump follows:
 
February 8, 2017
 
VIA ELECTRONIC TRANSMISSION
The Honorable Donald J. Trump
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20500
 
Dear Mr. President:
 
You have said numerous times during your campaign that you want to “drain the swamp” here in Washington.  Whistleblowers can help you accomplish that goal.  In fact, they’re the ones who have been trying to do just that since our nation’s founding. 
 
Whistleblowers are brave, patriotic people who tell the truth about what is going on in our government.  They help us identify waste, fraud, and abuse in the vast and unwieldy federal bureaucracy.  When others fight tooth and nail to protect wasteful pet projects, avoid transparency and accountability, and put their own interests ahead of the American people, whistleblowers do exactly the opposite.   Whistleblowers speak up about violations of law, rule, and regulation, and about gross mismanagement, abuses of authority, and threats to public health and safety.  They often do so at the peril of their own careers, reputations, and even health.  They put Americans first. 
 
After eight years under the leadership of what even the press has described as “the least transparent administration in history” that prosecuted more whistleblowers than any other previous administration, the time is ripe to finally recognize the immeasurable value that whistleblowers bring to our democracy.   I have asked every president since Ronald Reagan to hold a Rose Garden ceremony honoring whistleblowers.  No president has yet done so.  I hope you will be the first.
 
A Rose Garden ceremony honoring whistleblowers, with the President of the United States praising the courage and sacrifice of individuals who have put so much on the line to make sure the taxpayers have a better, more responsible government, would epitomize your call for a new way of doing business in Washington.   It would send a loud and clear signal from the very top of government through the very bowels of the unelected bureaucracy that your administration will not tolerate waste, fraud and abuse.  It would give confidence to those with knowledge of serious problems to step up and help you make change.
 
In the Senate, I have worked hard to protect whistleblowers from retaliation through legislation, and I have worked with them to support their efforts to shine a light on wrongdoing.  I have witnessed them stand up and do the right thing, when all they received in return was being treated like skunks at a picnic.  I hope you will take the opportunity to do things differently, and hold a Rose Garden ceremony honoring these brave and patriotic public servants. 
 
I look forward to working with you to better protect whistleblowers and make sure our government is transparent and accountable to the American people.
 
Sincerely,
 
Charles E. Grassley 
Chairman