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Twenty-Three U.S. Senators Take Unprecedented Action To Probe Donald Trump’s Conflicts Of Interest

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Donald Trump has been dodging and cancelling press conferences where he is supposed to discuss his business conflicts of interest. Most U.S. Senator’s agree that Donald Trump has far too many business ties around the world that could cause a direct conflict of interest to what’s best for us here at home. In fact, twenty-three U.S. Senators have just written and signed a letter to President-elect Trump to divest in all of his business ties and to place his assets into a blind trust not with his family, but rather a qualified blind trust that is compliant with ethics laws.

“Dear President-elect Trump;

We write today regarding the steps you should be taking to address ethical concerns related to potential conflicts of interest as you prepare to become the President of the United States.

As a businessman with assets around the world, your holdings have the potential for serious conflicts between the national interest and your personal financial interests. We understand that the Office of Government Ethics, an independent, non-partisan ethics agency created in the wake of the scandals of Watergate, has recently advised you that the only way to resolve these conflicts of interest is through divestiture of your businesses.

In your public statements, you have reference that the President is not subject to the restrictions of the federal conflict of interest laws. However, we understand the Office of Government Ethics has advised presidents across administrations to conduct themselves in a manner consistent with federal conflict of interest laws and standards of conduct regulations (citation omitted). The President is subject to the Emoluments Clause of the United States Constitution, which will prohibit payments or gifts to your businesses by entities owned by foreign governments.”

“To address any conflicts of interest and constitutional requirements, we urge you to follow the advice of the Office of Government Ethics and divest your business holdings. Consistent with the practices of past presidents since the passage of the Ethics in Government Act of 1978, we also urge you to establish a qualified blind trust or equivalent in which your assets are administered by an independent party and not controlled by members of your family. Such actions are consistent with the steps called for in Senate Concurrent Resolution 56.”

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