Donald Trump has already stated that his intention was to step away from his business dealings and turn control over to his children, in order that he might focus entirely on the presidency.
He has yet to do that, however, so apparently, Democrats in the Senate are trying to hasten that end. They are introducing legislation that will require the president-elect to divest any disputed finances into a blind trust.
The bill would also consider any violation by Trump of conflict of interest or ethics laws a “high crime or misdemeanor under the impeachment clause of the U.S. constitution,” according to a fact sheet on the forthcoming bill from Sen. Elizabeth Warren‘s office.
“The American people deserve to know that the President of the United States is working to do what’s best for the country – not using his office to do what’s best for himself and his businesses,” the Massachusetts Democrat said.
Warren is backed by fellow Democrat senators, Ben Cardin (Md.), Chris Coons (Del.), Dick Durbin (Ill.), and Jeff Merkley (Ore.).
Lawmakers are on holiday break now and return next month. That is when they’ll introduce the bill.
The legislation would require incoming first lady Melania Trump, Vice President-elect Mike Pence, his wife, Karen Pence, and Trump’s youngest son, Barron, to shed any financial assets that would pose a conflict of interest and place them into a blind trust.
It would also block presidential appointees from participating in matters that are directly linked to the Trumps’ financial interests, or businesses controlled by the president-elect or Melania Trump.
I assume that’s to close any loopholes, like Trump putting any of his businesses in his minor son’s name.
The bill would still have to get past the GOP majority in Congress, so what effect it has is still up in the air.
Twenty-three senators sent a letter to Trump this week, warning that his financial ties “have the potential for serious conflicts between the national interest and your personal financial interests.”
Durbin noted that Trump was expected to announce his plans to untangle himself from his vast businesses ties this week, but argued he instead took time to meet with Kanye West.
“President-elect Trump’s financial entanglements are unprecedented in American history, and the American people are still waiting to hear what steps he will take before January 20th to guard against conflicts of interest and corruption in his Administration,” he said.
And this is a point I’ve made several times here, myself.
What they’re asking is for something Trump, himself, offered. However, Trump has put off that decision, claiming there isn’t enough time, but has made time for more frivolous pursuits. He could end all of this by simply doing what he said he would do.
Trump defended his businesses on Thursday morning, saying on Twitter: “The media tries so hard to make my move to the White House, as it pertains to my business, so complex — when actually it isn’t!”
That’s awesome. So we can expect that announcement about your plans… when?