President Donald Trump signed an executive order Thursday to eliminate the Federal Election Commission from a government ethics database, one of his first major steps to overhaul the federal watchdog.
The order is one of several he’s made since taking office last month.
“We have no more of these ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ laws,” Trump said during his speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Maryland.
Trump said he was appointing a new ethics commission to replace the commission he created in January to enforce campaign finance laws.
The executive order also directs the president to create an ethics office to review the ethics of federal agencies.
Trump also announced that the White House would hire an outside ethics lawyer to review ethics violations committed by senior administration officials.
“The new office will be dedicated to finding and bringing to justice those who commit ethical violations,” Trump wrote.
“This is a very important step to ensure that our administration’s ethics and ethical conduct are held to the highest standards.”
The order does not specifically address whether the new office would be responsible for investigating ethics violations.
The new office has been under consideration since the 2016 presidential election, when then-candidate Trump repeatedly raised concerns about the way federal ethics were being enforced.
During a Jan. 19 press conference, Trump said his ethics office would investigate ethics violations, including possible conflicts of interest.
“He will do it as a lawyer, as a citizen, not a politician,” Trump told reporters.
Trump has said he will seek an ethics review of former Attorney General Sally Yates, who was fired by Trump for refusing to defend the president’s travel ban order.
In April, he fired Yates after she testified before Congress that she had not told Trump officials to stop enforcing the ban.
Trump’s executive order was expected to be approved by the Senate, but it’s unclear if the Senate would allow it to be signed.
Read more: President Donald Trump signs order to cut federal agencies ethics database and ethics watchdog article The Trump administration has faced criticism from both Democrats and Republicans for its handling of ethics complaints.
On Jan. 11, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee sent a letter to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) requesting an investigation into how the Trump administration handled complaints about ethics violations and ethics violations by Trump and other White House officials.
The letter said the FCC has a long history of being “slow to respond to complaints from citizens and whistleblowers about White House ethics violations.”
The letter also noted that the FCC had received a total of 8,621 complaints filed against the Trump White House and other Trump administration officials since 2014, with an average of one complaint every three days.