Non-Partisan Experts Say Trump Is Wrong: The President Isn’t Above The Law Or Constitution

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The non-partisan experts at Issue One, a non-partisan, non-profit dedicated to reducing the issue of money in politics are calling out President-elect Trump from placing himself above the law and the Constitution during his interview with The New York Times.

Leading ethics advocate Meredith McGehee, who is the Chief of Policy, Programs, and Strategy at Issue One, wrote:

The president can indeed have a conflict. That is why for more than 40 years, every president has taken steps — bona fide blind trusts, divestment or firewalls — to address those conflicts to protect the integrity of the high office he held. President-elect Trump should do the same.

President-elect Trump should tread carefully here. As the Constitution makes clear, we are a nation of laws, not men. Simply because the president is not covered by one anti-corruption law — the 1978 Ethics in Government Act — does not mean he is above the law nor absolve him of obligations enumerated in the Constitution. In fact, the president is subject to a number of anti-corruption laws, including financial disclosure, the bribery statute, the Federal Election Campaign Act, the anti-nepotism laws and the Antideficiency Act. He is also covered by the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution which is codified in the Foreign Gifts and Decorations Act of 1966 and prohibits a company owned directly by the president from receiving financial benefits from a foreign leader, a foreign treasury or a bank or other business owned and controlled by a foreign government without the consent of Congress.

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Ethics and public interest groups have been warning that Trump is setting up a quagmire of conflicts and ethical issues. Contrary to President-elect Trump’s claims, he isn’t above the law and the Constitution. Trump appears to believe that he can do whatever he wants as president, and it will be legal.

During the campaign, voters were warned that they were potentially electing an authoritarian with no regard for the law, but they ignored these warning in sufficient numbers, and Trump won the election.

After Watergate, it was established that the president is not above the law. President-elect Trump is challenging that belief with a view of executive power that has not been on display since the days of Richard Nixon.

Anyone who was wondering if the next president will respect the rule of law got their answer today.

Donald J. Trump believes that he is the law.