Saturday, November 26, 2016

Now There's a Snag. Trump May Have to Choose - His Real Estate Empire or the Presidency,

Festung Trump

They're a plainly bipartisan duo: the former chief ethics council to #43, George w. Bush, and the former chief ethics counsel to #44, Barack Obama. But they speak with one voice when it comes to Donald J. Trump.

The former ethics lawyers for president Barack Obama and George W Bush have asked the electoral college to not appoint Donald Trump as the next president due to his potential conflicts of interest.

Richard Painter, former chief ethics counsel for Mr Bush, and Norman Eisen, former chief ethics counsel for Mr Obama, said that the president-elect must sell out from his real estate and business holdings before 19 December, when the electoral college officially appoints the next president.

As reported by ThinkProgress, Mr Eisen pointed to Article 1, Section 9 of the US constitution which prohibits presidents from accepting "any present, emolument, office, or title, or any kind whatever, from any king, price, or foreign state".

The most recent up-and-running example of a Trump business is the new hotel in Washington DC, which hosted a group of 100 diplomats this month, providing food and a tour of the expensive suites.

"The notion that his (through his agents) solicitation of those payments, and the foreign governments making of those payments, is unrelated to his office is laughable," Mr Eisen said.

Mr Trump recently told the New York Times that he "could run [his] business perfectly, and then run the country perfectly". He added that the "law [was] totally on [his] side, meaning, the president can’t have a conflict of interest".

Harvard law professor Laurence Tribe shared the view that Mr Trump must divest to prevent potential conflicts of interest.

Mr Trump has already asked favours from politicians to help his businesses profit, including UK politicians to scrap wind farm proposals which would block the sea views from his Aberdeenshire golf course.

He has also come under fire for allowing his daughter Ivanka to sit in on meetings with heads of state, including Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe.


Owen Gray said...

Sounds like Nixon's rule: "If the president does it, it's legal."

The Mound of Sound said...

Yeah, I posted the clip from the Frost/Nixon interviews a couple of days ago.

Dana said...

The brokenness of the glorious American system, perhaps best exemplified by the corrupted anachronism called the Electoral College, makes it incapable of addressing its own shortcomings. The 'greatest country in the universe' inculcation begins so early and is so all pervasive that any contrary opinion is perceived as near treasonous and the person expressing said opinion relegated to the margins. Nothing will change *in* the system as a result of any actions deemed allowable *by* the system.