Trump's bid to drain the swamp: 5 year lobbying ban

Anyone who is appointed to serve in president-elect Donald Trump’s administration will be barred from becoming a paid lobbyist for five years after leaving their government position, the transition team announced on Wednesday.

"People going out of government won't be able to use that service to enrich themselves for a five-year period," Republican National Committee spokesman Sean Spicer said in a call with reporters on Wednesday night.

Trump appointees will have to sign a document stating they're not registered lobbyists or have ended their lobbying practice. The news came hours after vice-president elect Mike Pence rid the campaign's transition team of lobbyists. Despite his promises to "drain the swamp," Trump's initial transition team initially had a number of appointees with ties to industries regulated by the federal government.

Trump said last month that he'd propose the ban as part of an effort to slow Washington's so-called “revolving door” between the government and the private sector.

He said at the time he'd ask Congress to pass the ban into law so that it could not be changed by a new president and that he'd ask Congress to institute its own 5-year ban.

When he took office in 2008, President Barack Obama issued executive orders that included limits on the work political appointees could do. People working in the executive branch had an imposed two-year ban on lobbying activities.

Good government groups are likely to welcome the ban, though critics of similar restrictions imposed by Obama have warned that they could limit the people who may be interested in joining the administration. That could especially be a problem for Trump, who has no public office experience and whose candidacy opened a rift with the Republican party, leaving many to criticize Trump and reluctant to join his administration.

Lesley Clark: 202-383-6054, @lesleyclark

Vera Bergengruen: 202-383-6036, @verambergen