The referee has blown the whistle and declared that now President Trump is in violation of the U. S. Constitution!
Public corruption was envisioned in the Constitution of the United States. Economic conflicts of interests are impeachable or criminal offenses where the President continues to receive foreign money.
Last week, Walter M. Shaub, Jr., the current, Senate-confirmed Director of the Office of Government Ethics called Trump’s plan to separate himself from his businesses “meaningless” from a conflict of interest perspective and it does not constitute a blind trust.
The independent Office of Government Ethics (OGE) has provided nonpartisan support to every incoming Administration since its inception in 1978.
Former White House ethics lawyers Richard Painter and Norman Eisen say that it’s NOT true that President Trump is exempt from conflict of interest as President of the United States. While it IS correct that one specific statute (18 U.S.C. 208) does not apply to the President, the Constitution has a conflict of interest provision called the “Emoluments Clause” (Article I, Section 9, Clause 8 of the U. S. Constitution) that prohibits profiting from dealings with foreign governments, and that applies to EVERY person holding a position of trust with the United States government, including the President.
Painter and Eisen expect legal complaints to be filed against Donald Trump right away by business competitors – somebody who has been hurt by Trump violating the Constitution. i.e. the building owned by the U. S. Government in Washington D.C. leased to Trump International Hotel with a 60 year lease which says it cannot be leased to any elected official – “no member or delegate to Congress, or elected official of the government of the United States or the government of the District of Columbia, shall be admitted to any share or part of this lease, or to any benefit that may arise therefrom.”
Early in January House Republicans attempted to rein in the independent OGE, but quickly rescinded their action.
Zephyr Teachout, in Nation Magazine on January 18, 2017 said Trump will violate the Constitution on day one, suggesting that “the founders of our country… would have viewed Trump as a traitor, someone who was willing to become a stooge of foreign powers.”
See Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington for more information.
Listen to Terry Gross’ Fresh Air interview podcast. Read Atlantic Magazine’s January 18, 2017 article about the “ethics train wreck that will soon crash into the Oval Office“