Trump’s Conflict Of Interest Now On Display, Clearly Violating The Constitution
Shortly after his election, Donald Trump declared he would be distancing himself from his business and make sure his children take over the Trump Organization. Not surprisingly, that was a lie. The latest developments surrounding his new D.C. hotel suggest he’s still calling the shots and is already taking money from foreign governments using his position as president-elect as a profit platform.
For months, government groups have warned that Trump’s business dealings as President-elect pose a potential conflict of interest. Now those ethical concerns have materialized before our eyes.
Vice President-elect Mike Pence is using Trump’s glamorous new hotel in Washington D.C. as a backdrop for major events. The Bahrain government is hosting its “national day” reception at President-elect Donald Trump’s elegant property Wednesday. This, amid reports that delegations from foreign countries are eagerly booking rooms at the Pennsylvania Avenue location in exchange for favors from the President-elect.
One Asian diplomat told The Washington Post: “Why wouldn’t I stay at his hotel blocks from the White House, so I can tell the new president, ‘I love your new hotel!’ Isn’t it rude to come to his city and say, ‘I am staying at your competitor?'”
These developments give a snapshot of the kind of ethical entanglements Trump could face with his newest property —and the broader conflict of interest questions surrounding his business empire— as he prepares to move into the White House less than a mile away.
“At issue is the ‘foreign emoluments clause’ of the Constitution, which bars U.S. government officials from accepting gifts from foreign powers without congressional approval,” Larry Noble, general counsel with the Campaign Legal Center, told Fox News.
Noble cited this kind of scenario as a problem.
“They are saying that of course we’ll stay at the Trump hotel. We’re going to see the president and when we see the president, we want to say you have a wonderful hotel there,” he said. “So he’s really profiting from this. It really creates real conflicts of interest.”
And Bahrain isn’t the only foreign government sending money into the Trump Organization’s coffers this month. The Azerbaijani Embassy is hosting a Hanukkah party at the Trump hotel next week.
Under pressure, Trump promised a Dec. 15 news conference where he will officially turn over the business to his children. But several government groups are suggesting that is not enough – and the entire family should get out of the business.
“I think this is a really dangerous area and I think he’s going to see it,” Noble said. “Hopefully he’s going to see it, and they’re just going to divest.”
In the most alarming development yet, while Ivanka Trump and her father said she and her siblings were taking on a bigger role in the business, reports surfaced that she and her husband are moving to Washington – suggesting she may instead be taking on a bigger role in the government and raising more questions of who’s poised to run the family business.