Sen. Elizabeth Warren and a slew of Democrats are taking aim at Donald Trump with new legislation that would force him to release his tax returns and divest himself of potential financial conflicts of interest.
The legislation titled the Presidential Conflicts of Interest Act of 2017 would require the president and vice president to comply with the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution by requiring them to release their tax returns and divest themselves of any personal financial conflicts of interest. It would also require cabinet appointees to recuse themselves if any potential presidential conflicts of interest came before their agencies.
Sen. Warren said, “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 only way for President-elect Trump to truly eliminate conflicts-of-interest is to divest his financial interests by placing them in a blind trust. This has been the standard for previous presidents, and our bill makes clear the continuing expectation that President-elect Trump do the same.”
Co-sponsor Sen. Bob Casey said, “President-elect Trump’s conflicts of interests are unprecedented and for the good of our nation he must divest himself from his businesses. The American people deserve to know that their president is acting in their best interest and not for the benefit of his business interests. Unless President-elect Trump divests, the American people will have no way of knowing where the Trump Organization ends and the Trump Administration begins.”
The legislation faces an uphill path as Congressional Republicans have been happy to turn a blind eye to Trump’s obvious financial conflicts of interest, but just like the Russian hacking scandal that Trump keeps trying to bury, the conflicts of interest surrounding the president-elect are not going to go away.
Trump has taken no steps to date to divest himself of his business interests. In fact, Trump has gone as far as to paint himself as being above the law by say that the President can’t have conflicts of interest.
Senate Democrats are keeping the focus on Trump’s many conflicts of interest. Sen. Warren may not get the Senate to pass her bill, but it is clear that she is locked in on Trump and going to be taking the fight to him every single day.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a 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