Citing various conflicts of interest, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) are calling for a federal investigation by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) into the use of taxpayer funds to pay for Trump’s presidential transition.
In a letter to the GAO Warren and Cummings wrote:
All Americans share an interest in a smooth Presidential transition, and Federal laws authorize the use of taxpayer funds for that purpose. The Presidential Transition Act justifies allocation of funds to transition teams by stating that “such transitions [must] … be accomplished so as to assure continuity in the faithful execution of the laws and in the conduct of the affairs of the Federal Government, both domestic and foreign” to avoid any “disruption” in leadership thatwould be “detrimental to the safety and well-being of the United States and its people.”
But Mr. Trump’s apparent conflicts of interest-and his behavior during the campaign and after his election-· raise questions about the use of taxpayer funds during the transition, and about the decisions made during the transition that will affect federal government policies under the Trump Administration.
Mr. Trump’s conflicts of interest raise questions about the taxpayer-funded expenditures associated with the transition. During the early months of the presidential campaign, Mr. Trump charged the Secret Service $1.6 million for flights, with “the government effectively paying him” because he owned the airline. 17 During the transition, which is based at Trump Tower in New York City, Mr. Trump is traveling back and forth from New York to Washington, DC, using his airline. There is no transparency with regard to transition expenditures, raising additional questions about how taxpayer funds may be flowing into Mr. Trump’s pockets.
Warren and Cummings want the GAO to investigate if Trump’s conflicts of interest have affected his transition, and whether or not taxpayer dollars are being spent efficiently on the transition.
These are two very legitimate questions that deserve answers. If Donald Trump refuses to adhere to presidential conflict of interest protocols, calls for investigations and stories in the press about potential and real conflicts will be a regular event.
Democrats are holding Trump accountable with all the tools that they have at their disposal. Donald Trump thinks that he is above the law, but if he uses the presidency for personal financial profit and gain, he will find out that in the United States of America, no one is above the law.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor, who is White House Press Pool, and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association