The only absolutely necessary qualification to work for or with Donald Trump is a willingness to abet his potentially impeachable crimes. And the good news for Trump is that nearly his entire party is proving that their prime concern is covering up his potential wrongdoing — even from themselves.
In what should serve as a prompt for investigative journalists, the exact nature of the emoluments Trump has received is unclear in many instances due to Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns.
The lawsuit filed in federal court by the nonprofit Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington contended that Trump is “submerged in conflicts of interest” because of ties with countries such as China, India, and potentially Russia. It seeks to stop Trump from accepting any improper payments, citing a constitutional provision known as the “emoluments” clause that bans them.
A group including former White House ethics attorneys will file a lawsuit on Monday accusing President Donald Trump of allowing his businesses to accept payments from foreign governments, in violation of the U.S. Constitution.
Trump said he would maintain ownership of his global business empire but hand off control to his two oldest sons while president, an arrangement that watchdogs said would not prevent conflicts of interest in the White House.
If Donald Trump fails to adequately separate himself from his commercial affairs, even his Republican allies in Congress must hold him accountable. Trump sought this job, and while he has made a show of breaking with traditions, he cannot break faith with the American people.
The Constitution puts Congress in charge of enforcing the gift ban, and so the Republican-controlled House and Senate could grant him waivers. If Trump is allowed to flout the Constitution, it would be a supreme irony.
Legal experts say that Trump’s vague Twitter announcement does little to address the potential conflicts, and any plan short of Trump completely selling his interests will leave the window open for an ethical mess.
If Trump does not put his businesses in a true blind trust, how will we know if he is even violating the Emoluments Clause? Because of limited financial-disclosure requirements, we might not.