Russian Scandal, Emoluments Clause · Save These Tools · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms

See and Save This Running Tally of Donald Trump’s Conflicts of Interest as President

This OTYCD post originally appeared in January 2018.

 

See and save this running tally of Donald Trump’s conflicts of interest as president.

 

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) was sounding the alarm bell about Trump’s potential violations of the Constitution’s Emoluments clause before he took office.

 

They were the ones who brought suit against Trump for violating the clause. (The case was dismissed in October 2017, with the judge essentially saying that CREW did not have standing to sue, and only Congress could decide what an Emoluments violation looks like.)

 

Because Trump refused to divest from his business empire as president, CREW has continued to document potential violations.

 

Trump Inc: A Chronicle of Presidential Conflicts lays out a timeline of problematic actions that date back to January 25, 2017.

 

 

See it here, and please bookmark it for future reference.

https://www.citizensforethics.org/trump-timeline/?timeline-category=1023

 

 

Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the button on the upper right of the page. And tell your friends about the blog!

 

 

Here also is the main website for CREW:

https://www.citizensforethics.org

 

 

Donate to CREW’s work:

https://actionnetwork.org/fundraising/match?amount=100

 

 

Like CREW on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/citizensforethics

 

 

Follow it on Twitter:

@CREWcrew

 

 

Read about the CREW vs Trump lawsuit:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/judge-dismisses-lawsuit-alleging-trump-violated-constitution/2017/12/21/31011510-e697-11e7-ab50-621fe0588340_story.html?utm_term=.e600d8bc319e

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2017/10/01/the-emoluments-clauses-litigation-part-5-problems-with-the-complaints-in-crew-v-trump/?utm_term=.f54660353677  (This is an opinion piece)

http://joshblackman.com/blog/2017/10/20/analysis-of-oral-arguments-in-crew-v-trump/ (This is a lawyer analyzing the oral arguments in the case)

https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/are-the-emoluments-lawsuits-filed-against-president-trump-dead

 

Read, Educate Yourself, Prepare · Russian Scandal, Emoluments Clause

Learn Why Trump Is Impeachable Now

This OTYCD entry originally posted in January 2017.

Read the Brookings Institution report on Trump and the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution.

Ethicists Norman Eisen and Richard Painter, along with Harvard University Constitutional law professor Laurence Tribe, released a comprehensive report in December titled The Emoluments Clause: Its Text, Meaning, and Application to Donald J. Trump.

The clause appears in Article I, Section 9 of the Constitution, and bars any “Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under [the United States]” from taking “any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State” without a direct and clear OK from Congress. The clause stops the president and other high-ranking officials from taking bribes and other pricey gifts from foreign entities.

The Brookings report dismantles Trump’s claim that a sitting president cannot have a conflict of interest. It also details the background of the Emoluments clause; explains what an emolument is; and makes clear that the clause applies to the president.

The upshot? The authors flat-out say, “Mr. Trump, as President-Elect, appears to be on a direct collision course with the Emoluments clause.”

Under the section titled Remedies for Emolument Clause Violations, the authors state: “If Mr. Trump enters office in what would obviously constitute a knowing and indeed intentional violation of the Emoluments Clause and then declines to cure that violation during his tenure, Congress would be well within its rights to impeach him for engaging in ‘high crimes and misdemeanors.'”

 

Here is a link to the Brookings Institution report:

https://www.brookings.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/gs_121616_emoluments-clause1.pdf

 

Here are just a few articles that reveal dealings and behaviors that might place Trump in violation of the Constitution:

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trumps-presidency-overseas-business-deals-and-relations-with-foreign-governments-could-all-become-intertwined/2016/11/25/d2bc83f8-b0e2-11e6-8616-52b15787add0_story.html?utm_term=.982f402fbd93

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/business/wp/2016/11/30/trump-announces-he-will-leave-business-in-total-leaving-open-how-he-will-avoid-conflicts-of-interest/?utm_term=.ebc7a85c1e60

 

This article talks about how Trump’s web of business deals isn’t just a huge, roiling snarl of conflicts of interest–it might threaten national security, too:

http://www.newsweek.com/2016/09/23/donald-trump-foreign-business-deals-national-security-498081.html

 

And here are some articles that discuss how violating the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution puts Trump at risk of impeachment:

 

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/donald-trump-start-violating-constitution-sworn/story?id=44056726

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/donald-trump-violate-constitution-george-bush-ethics-lawyer-diplomats-trump-washington-dc-hotel-a7428406.html

 

Since the Brookings Report came out, Trump announced his plans to deal with his conflicts of interest. This New York Times article recounts their failings:

 

Also see Wednesday’s OTYCD post in support of Walter Shaub, director of the Office of Government Ethics:

https://wordpress.com/post/onethingyoucando.com/1343

 

And see Thursday’s OTYCD post on supporting the Presidential Conflicts of Interest Act:

https://wordpress.com/post/onethingyoucando.com/1207

 

 

 

Call Your Members of Congress · Ethics · House Bills, Federal · Russian Scandal, Emoluments Clause · Senate Bills, Federal · Stand Up for Norms · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends

Call Your Members of Congress to Support the Presidential Conflicts of Interests Act

This OTYCD entry originally posted in February 2017.

 

Call your members of Congress to support the Presidential Conflicts of Interests Act of 2017.

 

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren introduced it in the senate as S.65; Massachusetts Fifth District representative Katherine Clark introduced it in the house as H.R. 371.

 

If passed, it would reinforce the Emoluments clause of the Constitution by stating that the president and vice president must divest themselves of any assets that could pose a conflict of interest, and place them in a blind trust.

 

The law would also apply to those officials’ spouses and dependent children, but not their grown children or their spouses. It would also impose the same disclosure requirements on the president that are required of members of Congress.

 

In short, it would force Trump to do something that the last several presidents have done voluntarily, because it’s common sense.

 

 

Here is the congress.gov link to S.65, A bill to address financial conflicts of interest of the President and Vice President:

https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/65

 

 

Here is the congress.gov link to H.R. 371, which has pretty much the same title as the senate version:

https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/371

 

 

Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the button on the upper right of the page or checking the About & Subscribe page. And tell your friends about the blog!

 

 

See this New York Times op-ed from Richard Painter, chief White House ethics lawyer under the Bush administration from 2005 to 2007, on Trump’s stated plans for complying with the Constitution:

 

See this (not very hopeful) Washington Post article about Warren and Clark’s legislative efforts:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2017/01/09/democrats-introduce-conflicts-of-interest-act-but-are-unlikely-to-get-a-vote/?utm_term=.e4e1d52a6952

 

 

Here is Senator Elizabeth Warren’s press release on the bill. It names all its co-sponsors in the senate and the house. Do you see your members of Congress listed? If so, call and thank them for supporting these bills.

http://www.warren.senate.gov/?p=press_release&id=1342

 

 

Ethics · Read, Educate Yourself, Prepare · Russian Scandal, Emoluments Clause · Stand Up for Norms · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends · Vote with your Dollars

Read About What Makes Trump Look Bad to Red and Purple State Voters

This OTYCD entry originally posted in March 2017.

 

Read this January 2017 thinkprogress.org piece on what truth about Trump makes him look bad to voters in red and purple states.

 

The Center for American Progress polled more than 1,000 voters in 14 states that tilt toward Trump and found that many have problems with the idea of Trump’s businesses taking money from foreign governments while he serves as president.

 

Specifically, the article states, “Seventy-one percent of voters in red or purple states think that Trump should not be allowed to receive payments from foreign governments through his businesses while he is President… Of voters who said that Trump shouldn’t be allowed to receive foreign payments while president, 54 percent said that Congress should take action to prevent it.”

 

The tangle of Russia scandals remain important, and we should never lose sight of the need to find out just what is going on there. But Trump’s ongoing violations of the emoluments clause of the Constitution carries weight, too, and we should press for a solution that ensures that he does not profit from the office of the presidency while he is serving.

 

Read the ThinkProgress story:

https://thinkprogress.org/voters-think-trump-should-stop-getting-foreign-money-9a945b0f60f9#.r5jyuha64

 

Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the button on the upper right of the page. And tell your friends about the blog!

Call Your House Rep · Ethics · Russian Scandal, Emoluments Clause · Stand Up for Norms · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends

Support House Rep Elijah Cummings’s Call to Investigate Trump’s Ethics Issues

ICYMI: Call your House rep to support Elijah Cummings’s call to investigate Trump’s tangled finances.

Jason Chaffetz, the Republican leader of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, was gung-ho to investigate Hillary Clinton’s foibles, but has shown nowhere near the enthusiasm for looking into the many and varied ethics snarls posed by our new president, Donald Trump.

In fact, Chaffetz has targeted Walter Shaub, head of the Office of Government Ethics (OGE), for criticizing the inadequacy of Trump’s attempts to resolve his conflicts of interest. He is trying to force Shaub into a closed-door meeting, presumably to berate him. (Scroll down for a previous OTYCD post on how to support Shaub.)

Elijah Cummings is Chaffetz’s counterpart on the committee. If the Democrats had the majority in the house, Cummings would lead the committee, not Chaffetz.

In November, Cummings called on Chaffetz to start an investigation into Trump’s finances and any potential conflicts of interest they might pose. He spoke in mid-November, not long after the election, which might explain why it never quite broke through. But it is only growing more evident that Congress needs to launch an investigation, and Chaffetz’s committee exists to do it.

Is your House rep on the Oversight and Government Reform Committee? If so, it is extra-important that you call and make your voice heard. Look at the link below before you pick up the phone.

https://oversight.house.gov/subcommittee/full-committee/

 

Sample script for your House rep: I am (Firstname Lastname) from (town, zip code). I am calling to ask you to support House rep Elijah Cummings’s request to his colleague, Jason Chaffetz, to launch an investigation into Trump’s finances. Cummings asked for an investigation back in November and Chaffetz has not yet acted. This needs to move ahead. Please do what you can to make it happen.

 

You can also call the House Oversight Committee to voice your support for Cummings’s request.

The majority (Republican) office is: 202.225.5074

The minority (Democratic) office is: 202.225.5051

 

More on Cummings’s request of Chaffetz for an investigation of Trump’s finances:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2016/11/14/investigate-trumps-potential-conflicts-of-interest-top-dem-tells-chaffetz/?utm_term=.e580869eba8b

 

http://www.npr.org/2016/11/29/503766832/rep-elijah-cummings-leads-call-to-investigate-trumps-business-entanglements

 

This Washington Post opinion piece from January 18 cites a Salt Lake Tribune poll that shows that Chaffetz’s Utah constituents support an investigation of Trump’s conflicts of interest by two to one:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-turn/wp/2017/01/18/utah-voters-to-chaffetz-do-your-job/?utm_term=.081eac157993

 

In case you missed it, a previous OTYCD post asked you to call your House rep to defend Walter Shaub, head of the Office of Government Ethics (OGE):

https://onethingyoucando.com/2017/01/17/call-your-house-rep-to-defend-walter-schaub-jr-head-of-the-office-of-government-ethics/

Ethics · Stand Up for Norms

Call Your House Rep to Defend Walter Shaub Jr., Head of the Office of Government Ethics

ICYMI: Reposting because you can still act on this if you haven’t yet.

Call your member of the Congressional House of Representatives to defend Walter Shaub Jr., director of the Office of Government Ethics (OGE).

Shaub has been straightforward and resolute on the topic of Donald Trump’s conflicts of interest and the president-elect’s plans for addressing them: They stink. Well, those aren’t his actual words, but Shaub has made it clear that Trump’s solutions aren’t up to the task, blasting them as “wholly inadequate.”

Since speaking out, Shaub has been summoned to a closed-door meeting by Jason Chaffetz, the Republican house rep from Utah who heads the house’s Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

Chaffetz has been a bulldog on the issue of investigating Hillary Clinton’s emails, but he has yet to show a similar passion for looking into Trump. He acted mere hours after Shaub spoke about Trump at the Brookings Institution. Evidently, in Chaffetz’s mind, pointing out Trump’s ethical failings in public is somehow worse than Trump’s failings themselves.

It is unclear when this closed-door meeting with Shaub might happen. Regardless, call your house rep, let them know you support the work of Shaub and the OGE, and that he should not be punished in any way for doing his job.

Below is the list of sitting members of the house Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Is your house rep on the list? Then it’s extra-important that you call. And if Chaffetz is your house rep, then it’s unbelievably super-extra-important that you call and tell him to lay off Shaub and start looking into Trump instead.

https://oversight.house.gov/subcommittee/full-committee/

 

You can also call the OGE to voice your support for Shaub:

202.482.9300

 

Or send an email:

ContactOGE@oge.gov

 

Or send a postcard:

U.S. Office of Government Ethics

1201 New York Avenue, N.W., Suite 500

Washington D.C. 20005

 

Read this Washington Post article on Shaub’s comments on Trump:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2017/01/11/federal-ethics-chief-blasts-trumps-plan-to-break-from-businesses-calling-it-meaningless/?utm_term=.762a3a9cd377

 

And read this subsequent WaPo article on Chaffetz’s retaliatory move against Shaub:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/trumps-business-ties-prompt-a-showdown-between-a-tiny-ethics-office-and-the-gop/2017/01/13/0dc1b500-d9c8-11e6-b8b2-cb5164beba6b_story.html?utm_term=.afcdddd6f663#comments