Overcoming Trumpery


Overcoming Trumpery

How to Restore Ethics, the Rule of Law, and Democracy

Norman Eisen
Release Date: March 22, 2022

How to restore ethics, the rule of law, and democracy as the centerpieces of U.S. government

U.S. government has been repeatedly renewed—sometimes simply repaired and other times reinvented—during its over 230 years. Major aspects of the federal system were broken again during the four years of the Trump administration, so it’s time for even more fixes. This book sets out the damage that was done and important ideas on how the repairs should be made, focusing on ethics, the rule of law, and democracy.

Distinguished scholars and practitioners have come together not only to address what went awry over the past four years, but also the deeper weaknesses that have become more evident, and how those weaknesses can be repaired. The problem areas range from ethics and conflicts of interest to the Hatch Act and big money in politics, and from independence at the Department of Justice and government transparency to reestablishing Congressional oversight, and the government’s role in the broader areas of how Americans vote and of international ethics and rule of law.

Overcoming Trumpery provides a framework to understand the significant developments that are already happening in Washington with respect to ethics, the rule of law, and democracy. These include the “For the People Act,” the “Protecting Our Democracy Act,” and President Biden’s Executive Order on Ethics.

The ideas outlined in this book for fixing flaws in federal governance come from the more than century of collective experience of its expert authors. The book represents a burst of sunshine after a very dark period in the nation’s history.


Ambassador Norman Eisen (ret.) is a senior fellow in Governance Studies at Brookings and a CNN Legal Analyst. He served as special counsel to the House Judiciary Committee for the first impeachment and trial of President Trump, and as President Obama’s ethics czar and ambassador to the Czech Republic.