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Do Trump’s Foreign Business Deals Violate The Constitution?

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Do Trump’s Foreign Business Deals Violate The Constitution?

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Reprinted with permission from ProPublica. 

The question of whether President-elect Donald Trump will run afoul of federal conflict-of-interest rules or the Constitution because of his extensive foreign investments has been the subject of intense scrutiny among legal and ethics scholars.

Legally, his foreign licensing deals could violate the Constitution. An example: During his presidential run, Trump’s name was used to market a never-finished luxury hotel in Azerbaijan, built by the billionaire son of the country’s transportation minister. The deal earned Trump more than $2.8 million between January 2014 and May 2016, according to financial-disclosure filings he filed as a candidate. (See his 2015 and 2016 reports here.)

If this type of deal occurs during his presidency and fetches anything above what’s considered fair market value, it would almost certainly violate the Emoluments Clause, a provision of the Constitution ­­­­­­meant to head off conflicts between the national interest and presidents’ self-interest. The clause, in Article 1, Section 9, of the Constitution, prevents the president from accepting “any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind w­­­hatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.” A more stringent interpretation of the clause — which has never been tested in the courts — would bar a president from receiving any payment from a foreign government entity. A violation of the Constitution could result in impeachment proceedings.

But how will we know if Trump is violating the clause? Because of limited financial-disclosure requirements, we might not.

There are two reasons for this: One is that the disclosures required from presidents are limited. The other is that Trump has refused to voluntarily release his tax returns or other business details, a significant break from presidential administrations dating back to Jimmy Carter.

“You can’t grasp all the potential conflicts and issues that the Trump empire poses by just looking at a personal financial disclosure,” said Matthew T. Sanderson, an attorney at Caplin & Drysdale who has served as legal counsel on three Republican presidential campaigns.

And Trump won’t have to file a comprehensive annual report of his assets, income, gifts and stock portfolio until May 2018, according to U.S. Office of Government Ethics requirements. (Trump has so far refused to release his federal or state income tax returns; three pages of his 1995 New York state income tax return obtained by The New York Times showed he declared $916 million in losses but few other details.)

Trump Organization executives and lawyers did not respond to ProPublica’s requests for comment.

As a presidential candidate, Trump filed two financial-disclosure reports detailing his private companies and assets. More than 100 of the companies listed have licensing or management agreements in other countries, including China, India, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Among his most prized assets: 12 U.S. golf courses, three more in Ireland and Scotland, and two underway in the United Arab Emirates, along with a 30 percent stake in two office towers in New York and San Francisco.

Trump Organization officials have said the president-elect’s business empire will be overseen by his three adult children — Donald Jr., Eric and Ivanka. (Former Presidents Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush all put their assets into blind trusts during their terms; Obama’s portfolio in Treasury bills and index funds was not seen as a conflict.)

But Trump hasn’t heeded calls from ethics and legal experts (and others including the Wall Street Journal editorial page) who say his foreign assets should be sold off en masse and his businesses be placed in the hands of an independent trustee during his presidency. Trump addressed the issue on Twitter, saying it was “well known that I have interests in properties all over the world” and arguing that “only the crooked media makes this a big deal!”

The potential for Trump’s decisions as president to impact his business holdings loom large. “What happens if there are federal activities in the proximity of these golf courses or hotels that positively or negatively impact their value,” said Lawrence Wright, a professor of economics at New York University’s Stern School of Business and a former federal antitrust regulator. “He’s got a zillion things going on and I don’t see how he can effectively disengage.”

Barring more disclosures, an outside review of Trump’s business activity is difficult. In the days following his election, at least five Trump-affiliated holding companies, most of them long inactive, have been dissolved in Delaware and New York, ProPublica has found. But it’s unclear if Trump is consolidating his empire before he takes office or simply shuttering dormant companies.

And getting an accounting of how much he’s profiting, or losing, from his business dealings is near impossible. Shortly after the election, Trump met with three Indian business partners who are building a Trump-branded apartment complex in Pune, just outside of Mumbai. In his 2015 financial disclosure, Trump noted several foreign licensing deals, including the one for the 23-story Pune towers.

Trump reported between $100,000 and $1 million in income from the deal in his 2015 disclosure. The next year, he reported no income from the deal. The estimated value of the contract in both years, according to the financial disclosure: between $1,000 and $15,000. (Federal disclosures rules only require a range of income amounts for things like stock dividends, rent and royalties.) To put this incongruity in context, Trump’s licensing deals typically fetch between $5 million and $10 million.

Meanwhile, a 75-story Mumbai skyscraper currently under construction by the Lodha Group is also reported in the filings. The royalty income from that deal reported in 2016 is in line with previous Trump deals: between $1 million and $5 million. The Mumbai deal’s valuation was one of several listed that was deemed “not readily ascertainable.”

As president, Trump will be required to file both annual and periodic financial-disclosure reports under the Ethics in Government Act of 1978. But unlike a balance sheet or an audit, the financial disclosures are limited and don’t provide a complete picture of Trump’s businesses. “They are the very, very tip of the iceberg,” said Richard W. Painter, an outspoken critic of Trump’s business conflicts who served as the White House’s chief ethics lawyer under George W. Bush. “They don’t get at the second and third layers.” Among the things excluded from the disclosures: tenants in Trump-owned buildings and their rents, along with debts owed to government-owned sovereign wealth funds.

And if he makes any errors in his filings, it’s generally up to the White House counsel’s office — a Trump appointee — to decide what action to take.

Trump will have some additional disclosure requirements as president that he didn’t have as a candidate: He will have to list all gifts he’s received and any transactions within 45 days of a purchase or sale of a stock. Obama Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker, a Chicago billionaire who started five companies and who has served on the boards of several Fortune 500 firms, routinely files such disclosures; so far in 2016, she has filed 17 of them.

But company liabilities are exempt from federal reporting requirements. Trump owes Deutsche Bank, his largest lender, roughly $300 million in loans against his recently opened hotel in Washington, D.C., and a resort in Doral, Florida. But it’s unclear what his companies might owe and to whom. And presidents aren’t subject to federal laws prohibiting members of Congress from government dealings that overlap with their own financial interests.

The extent of Trump’s potential conflicts is unique, but he’s one of many elected officials and executive branch appointees to grapple with such issues. Hank Paulson was forced to sell off nearly $600 million in Goldman Sachs stock before taking over as Treasury Secretary in 2006. Lyndon B. Johnson’s wife, Lady Bird Johnson, purchased a radio station, KTBC-AM in Austin, in 1943 and, when her husband was in the Senate, directly approached an official at Federal Communications Commission about a regulatory review.

If you have information about Trump and his business empire, email derek.kravitz@propublica.org.

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64 Comments

  1. katherinewoodman November 30, 2016

    1 year ago I finally abandoned my previous job and I never felt this good… I started freelancing from comfort of my home, for a company I discovered on-line, few hrs /a day, and I make much more than i did on my office work… My check for last month was for 9 thousand dollars… The best thing about this gig is the more time i got for my loved ones…
    http://chilp.it/728813e

    Reply
  2. RED November 30, 2016

    Ahh, I see we’re still pretending that laws or rules apply to the wealthy and those in government. What quaint, fairy tales, right up there with believing in sky fairies. I’ve seen pundits, reporters, those in comment sections proclaiming all the conflicts of interest of Trump. But rarely do their questions consider reality, who’s gonna do anything about trump’s conflict of interest? Paul Ryan and the Republican controlled Congress? Seriously? The people who proven over and over and over again that they couldn’t give a crap about the law, morality, and certainly not the American people. That these sorry excuses for human beings are going to do what’s right? Hehehe, they’re not even capable of recognizing what’s right or just anymore, much less having the courage to act upon it. Nope, the only way Trump gets impeached is if he is deemed to not be sufficiently allowing the Cons to steal the last bit of our country. Say Trump says “No” to looting Medicare & Social Security, Pence you’re up!! It ain’t gonna be for conflicts of interests, these scumbags are built on conflicts of interest.

    Reply
    1. Aaron_of_Portsmouth November 30, 2016

      The system has become so rotten that most in Congress are accustomed to the stench.

      Reply
  3. Otto T. Goat November 30, 2016

    The Emoluments Clause doesn’t apply to the President.

    Reply
    1. Aaron_of_Portsmouth November 30, 2016

      Right—it only applies to goats.

      Reply
    2. Eleanore Whitaker December 1, 2016

      WRONG …Here is the Emoluments Clause. Read it if you actually have the skills: Article I, Sec. 9: “No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.”

      Further, Trump Trump must remove his name from any business he owns now or as in the new Trump DC hotel that is leased to Trump from the US government and he then makes his profits from those who frequent this site, he cannot take the oath of office.

      It isn’t about a blind trust. Trump’s biggest problem is that his business is empirical and even if he hands off his authority to his family members, the potential for conflict of interest exists solely from his name being on any business he owned. As Trump himself stated in the 2nd Debate, “I sell my name.” Therefore, if his “name” has dollar value and it remains intact, he is guilty of conflict of interest even if a single renter or leasee pays him a dime of rent.

      This is not going to go away. This is the reason billionaires who think they can just transition from big business to goverment doesn’t work. Trump is now finding out the difference between government and business:
      1. He loses all rights to privacy in his Trump Tower and the White House
      2. His family members cannot attend any government meetings as owners of trustees of his empirical business
      3. He can no longer expect to ignore the right of Free Press under the 1st Constitutional Amendment to be blocked or hindered in anything he does from this point forward.

      Trying to compare Trump to any other president doesn’t work and the right wingers now want to just flip a switch and make the Constitution, the appearance of conflict of interest and Trump’s inability to totally and entirely get rid of his business empire, disappear.

      This is what they get when they elect a man who was heard in conference with President Obama, asking for advice. This from the big mouth KNOWS All who had no problem thinking he could run a government like he does a corporation.

      Stay tuned folks. This is going to get down and dirty. Trump can say he will end all business. But, given his already tarnished reputation as a pathological liar who later denies what he says, there will not be Constitutionl TRUST in anything he says or does. THAT WAS THE REASON FOR NOT VOTING FOR HIM.

      Reply
      1. InformedVoter December 1, 2016

        You keep using your penis envy brain to twist the facts or in this case the law. EVEN the above article says he doesn’t have to disconnect himself. The article stated that if he received more than the judged fair market value, then it would be a problem. But if he ONLY gets fair market value then no harm, no foul.
        So try posting your lying comments somewhere else, there are too many on this site that know the facts.

        Reply
        1. bobnstuff December 1, 2016

          Fair market value, who gets to say what this is? Oh yes, Trumps people get to decide what this is. Trump can be trusted not to cheat or lie. Right?

          Reply
          1. InformedVoter December 2, 2016

            If one wishes to sell their some property, they can hire a professional appraiser. Thus, as the article clearly states the generally agreed upon fair market value would be used. So, while President Trump may hire his own appraisers, there would be great risk for his company to sell holdings are a value much higher than the generally agreed upon fair market value. You’re so in a tiff over President Trump’s victory that you fully believe all the lies the MSM published about him. Even the NYT had admitted in writing that they were extremely biased in their coverage of President Trump. Many other news sources continue with their vengeful, hate spewing tone, and wonder why President Trump doesn’t inform them where he’s going, etc. Duh! Just keep saying to yourself “just 8 more years … just 8 more years …”.

            Reply
          2. bobnstuff December 2, 2016

            If Trump lasts four years I will be surprised. In the past the appraisers Trump has hired haven’t been very honest. That’s why he keeps getting sued over property taxes. He gets one appraiser to give a high value when going to the banks for money and another one with a low value when it comes to taxes. The media isn’t lying much when it comes to Trump, they don’t have to Trump does enough lying on his own. If you want to know what Trump believes in read his books, listen to his speeches.
            https://www.bing.com/search?q=trumps+speeches+transcripts&form=PRHPCS&pc=HPDTDFJS&mkt=en-us&httpsmsn=1&refig=0933cf04c27e4f56bc1d092ba83415af&sp=3&qs=AS&pq=trumps+speeches&sk=OS1AS1&sc=8-15&cvid=0933cf04c27e4f56bc1d092ba83415af
            Do you blame a media the Trump attacks on a regular bases not liking him? It’s amazing that they are as far to him as they are.

            As far as his “victory” the numbers are right, he lost the popular vote by over two million votes. If he doesn’t believe it then he should be the one asking for a recount.

            Reply
          3. InformedVoter December 2, 2016

            The popular vote doesn’t count. The margin of victory in the popular vote came from California, where there were 3 million illegal votes cast. After the election, there will be investigations into the CA voter fraud. No matter, President Trump 306 – 232. On the morning of the election. the MSM had HilLIARy with 238 for sure votes. So somehow she lost 6 for sure votes.
            Now the he’s the president, Trump will make certain the appraisals are correct. I’m not admitting that your claims are correct, but now there is much to risk so he won’t take the chance.
            Yes the media has been relentless in their LIES about President Trump. Even the NYT has admitted they were extremely biased and inaccurate in their coverage.
            Regarding the recount, he won’t (it’s too late anyway) ask for a recount in CA, but there will be investigations because of the polling monitors who have filed reports of voter irregularities in CA.

            Reply
          4. bobnstuff December 2, 2016

            There is a difference in being bias and lying. NYT is bias, Hannity lies. Have you noticed that the cry of illegals voting isn’t coming from the republicans in CA but from the Right Wing Media. In fact I couldn’t find one article about any investigation based in CA. In fact everything I have found say that illegal voting isn’t that big a problem.

            http://www.politico.com/2016-election/results/map/president

            Reply
          5. InformedVoter December 2, 2016

            Found nothing? You didn’t look very hard.
            “Donald Trump is absolutely correct that large volumes of illegal votes were cast in the 2016 presidential race predominantly for Democrat candidates and illegal immigrants were brought across the borders to reinforce Obama and Hillary Clinton in these elections,” said William Gheen, president of ALIPAC. “Obama himself admitted on video to Spanish language audiences comprised of illegal immigrants that illegals would face no scrutiny or hindrances registering to vote and voting, both of which are felonies and deportable offenses. We will work hard to ensure that American voters are never faced with their votes being stolen and muted by foreign nationals again. Let the contentious and historic 2016 elections be remembered as the point where Americans secured our borders and ballots from illegal immigration!”
            Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2016/11/everything-you-need-to-know-about-election-recount/#Y0yzUp7p2gJZ39TI.99

            As to the claim about “isn’t a big a problem” – try this.
            ‘However, the non-profit Americans for Legal Immigration PAC released dozens of pages of documentation noting 46 states have prosecuted or convicted cases of voter fraud, more than 24 million voter registrations are invalid, there are more than 1.8 million dead voters still on rolls and more than 2.75 million Americans are registered to vote in more than one state.’

            Reply
          6. bobnstuff December 2, 2016

            WND is not a reliable sight in case you didn’t bother to check them out. Trump has come up with no facts to back up his clam and even the math doesn’t work. you can’t have 3 million illegals vote in Ca. if there are only 1.8 adult illegals total in the state. The Americans for Legal Immigration PAC report has been debunked as misleading. In case you didn’t know there are only 11 million illegals in the country and only 8 million voting age.

            Reply
          7. InformedVoter December 2, 2016

            So you claim that my sites are not reliable, yet you can only meekly say “check them out”. Well bobby boy, no news source is 100% accurate. Certainly not the government’s.
            So one has to look at all angles and see what makes the most sense.
            When one relies on Politico and politifact and snopes, you only get 64% accuracy and they’re the ones who are supposedly telling you what’s true and what’s not.
            I choose to believe the source on this subject, as no MSM source has said anything except they’re wrong.

            Reply
          8. bobnstuff December 2, 2016

            There are some conservative sights that are fairly good but not WND. They like to run fast and loose on their facts and worse present opinion as fact. To write a good story you need to do a lot more digging then they seem to be willing to do. Part of the reason is they just don’t have the staff. The rule is check, check again and then re check before you publish. These folks and CBN both have some problems. I still go there from time to time because they sometimes pick up articles form other places that are well done but there in house stuff isn’t very good. No one source can be trusted 100% but there are some that have the staff and the resources to get it right most of the time. The most important thing to me is for them to list their source so I can know were their facts came from. Those foot note can be very useful when you want the whole picture. Politifact and Fact Check.org as well as Snopes all make mistakes from time to time but they also give you a trail to follow to check them out.

            Reply
          9. Eleanore Whitaker December 2, 2016

            If the popular vote doesn’t count, why bother with elections? You are full of donkey dung. The U.S. Constitution grants all citizens the right to an election and to choose the candidates WE want.

            The only reason for the Electoral College you moron is so that states with the smallest populations wouldn’t be outvoted if there was ONLY a popular vote.

            Your asshat Republicans have so badly abused the purpose of the Electoral College and we KNOW they rigged the EC by using the same tactic Texas Tom DeLay did and nearly went to jail for: redistricting voting maps to make it appear there are 10 times the number of Republicans in each voting district than Dems.
            FACT: In 2000 election, TX had ONLY 23 electors to the Electoral College.
            FACT: Now they have 34. They better be able to prove they were EVER entitled to that increase if the Census Bureau proves the state population doesn’t equal the number of Electors they are claiming.

            Stop posting. No one cares what you think. You are a geezer diseased right winger who just wants your way like a big baby.

            I can only imagine how badly spoiled you were as a child.

            Reply
          10. InformedVoter December 2, 2016

            Poor Elle, you just can’t accept that old HilLIARy was hated so much because of her lying!
            So now you’re claiming that the results of the 2010 census were rigged? Wow, talk about being out of touch.
            The reasons for the EC are spelled out in the founding of our nation. It’s only low information folks like you who think their vote should count more than others.
            You’ve been slammed by so many posters and your comments shredded so often, I’m surprised you even have the nerve to continue to post. Just about everything you post is filled with hatred and penis envy. I’m still looking for proof of the 3,000 new votes for HilLIARy in WI. Your claim, not mine.
            Just like the election results, get over it! You lost the election (by an mandate of 306-232, HilLIARy couldn’t even get the 238 for sure votes) and it was because voters didn’t trust her.
            Why should I stop posting. Just a couple of days ago, one of your low information poster requested the same thing saying “I was just confusing the other posters and upsetting them and even caused some of them to probably vote for Trump”. I thanked him for the compliment. Apparently my posting facts instead of lies and providing sites that contain truth instead of made up stuff, has helped educate some low information voters.
            In your case, I doubt you even understand much of what I post and understand even less information from the sites I provided.

            Reply
          11. Eleanore Whitaker December 2, 2016

            I know why the Founding Fathers established the Electoral College. You do have a problem with truth and facts don’t you?

            The fact is that your hicks in the GOP kept the public focused on Benghazi and EmailGate. Now if we demand an investigation into how many electors in your state may have been bribed or influenced to vote for Trump, that would prove only one thing, you have a criminal mind.

            The recounts in WI and PA are showing that Hillary won the popular vote by 63 million votes. Over 3 million more than Trump. Sorry if you don’t get to pretend those votes don’t matter ONLY so you can use the Electoral College to win elections.

            This is not the first time you hicks rigged an election using the Electoral College.

            But asshat, I do hope when Trump screws you over, you are not planning to come hat in hand begging to our states for help like you did after the Civil War and during the Great Depression. This time you get zip!

            Oh and by the way? You know how you CONfederates love to rely on states’ rights to avoid obeying federal regulations? Good idea. Now, we will do the same. There goes your bossy FORCE right out the window. But do keep up your cocky bossy attitude. You can’t force an ant to pee. Don’t try that with me.

            Reply
          12. InformedVoter December 2, 2016

            Poor Elle, making stuff up again. Once more you have been found to be twisting truth into fantasy.
            Bribe electors? Talk about not knowing the EC rules. The electors, under penalty of breaking the law, have to vote the way their state decides they should vote. Only 4 times in history has an elector broken the law and not done this. It changed nothing in the election and all 4 were found guilty.
            The recount results in WI and PA (MI has been put on hold) have not been released. They don’t release partial results! So your statement about the “recounts in WI and PA are …” is nothing but more proof of the lies you post.
            Once more, your comments have been shredded. When will you ever learn? Probably never!

            Reply
          13. Merle Dickey December 2, 2016

            You have a horrible mind when talking about the south . Such hate really needs to be addressed . You do know Hillary and Bill lived in Arkansas don’t you? .And before you go on a rant , I do not live in the south so save your breath .

            Reply
          14. Eleanore Whitaker December 3, 2016

            DUH…maybe it’s because I have relative in FL, GA, MD, NC and TX? Maybe it’s because women in the south are nothing more than pin cushion their men love to stick their “needles” in? Maybe it’s because I saw how women settle for salaries no woman up north with an education would?

            Maybe I hate the south because it lives in the past and not the present? Maybe I hate the south because any region of the United States that uses a KKK Stars and Bars flag is to my sense of patriotism, an obscenity?

            Sorry if I don’t fall for that phony pretentious southern culture that hands MEN in the south the only mouths allowed to speak. And then you get women like Nikki Haley, a true delicate flower of southern womanhood who sucks up to men because she knows in the south women don’t get anywhere without some Good Ole Good Ole boys approval? And you don’t think that is a relic of the past?

            I live in the toughest state in the union. We are up every day at 5 AM and at work by 7. We pay the highest taxes in the country, most of which ends up in the lazy bum and lazy biddy south so they don’t have to break a sweat. “Oh my! Yall. We all don’t perspire in the south. It ain’t fittin””

            Get off it lady. The only reason there are more Republican states in the south and midwest is because these states are the ones eating up the Dem state taxes. Keep feeding at the trough. With so many billionaires in Trump’s cabinet you are about to see what a CEO tycoon is really like. I should know. I worked very closely with three at ADP and Akzo Chemical.

            I paid my dues in this life. Get off that lazy butt and pay yours.

            Reply
          15. bobnstuff December 2, 2016

            Here’s a little fact for you, there are not even three million illegals living in Ca. so there could not be that many voting illegally. I do love these made up numbers the right use.

            Reply
          16. InformedVoter December 2, 2016

            And of course you can prove it.
            Here’s something interesting reading.

            California – LARGEST INSANE ASYLUM IN THE WORLD

            Interesting that the LA Times did this. Lou Dobbs reported this on CNN and it cost him his job. The only network we would see this on would be FOX. All the others are staying away from it. Whether you are a Democrat or Republican, this should be of great interest to you!

            Just One State – be sure and read the last part… try for 3 times.

            This is only one State… If this doesn’t open your eyes, nothing will!

            From the L.A. Times.

            1. 40% of all workers in LA County (10.2 million people) are working for cash; and not paying taxes. This is because they are predominantly illegal immigrants, working without a green card.
            (Donald Trump was right)
            2. 95% of warrants for murder in Los Angeles are for illegal aliens.
            3. 75% of people on the most wanted list in Los Angeles are illegal aliens.
            4. Over 2/3 of all births in Los Angeles County are to illegal alien Mexicans on Medi-Cal, whose births were paid for by taxpayers.
            5. Nearly 35% of all inmates in California detention centers are Mexican nationals;
            they are here illegally.
            6. Over 300,000 illegal aliens in Los Angeles County are living in garages.
            7. The FBI reports half of all gang members in Los Angeles are most likely illegal aliens from south of the border.
            8. Nearly 60% of all occupants of HUD properties are illegal.
            9. 21 radio stations in LA are Spanish-speaking.
            10. In LA County, 5.1 million people speak English; 3.9 million, speak Spanish. (There are 10.2 million people, in LA County.)
            (All 10 of the above facts were published in the Los Angeles Times)
            Less than 2% of illegal aliens are picking our crops, but 29% are on welfare. Over 70% of the United States’ annual population growth, (and over 90% of California, Florida, and New York), results from immigration. Also, 29% of inmates in federal prisons are illegal aliens.

            Reply
          17. Eleanore Whitaker December 2, 2016

            You have the balls to talk about Proof? You? Now you are making a real liar of yourself. When in the hell have YOU EVER provided roof of what you post?

            Get professional help. You and Trump are perfect together for a mental asylum.

            Reply
          18. InformedVoter December 2, 2016

            Sorry Elle, but unlike you, I do have the balls!
            I produce tons of information, all verifiable. You, on the other hand, seldom provide any proof.
            If there are not 3 million illegals in CA, then it should be easy to prove, right?
            I’m still waiting for your 3,000 number from WI.

            Reply
          19. Eleanore Whitaker December 2, 2016

            No you don’t. I’ve asked time and again to see YOUR resume. You asked to see mine. I provided it. Someone who actually has balls has no reason to hide behind an egotistical assumed name like “informedvoter.” You are not informed and you may not even be a voter so much as a hick with dual citizenship in DogPatch.

            Reply
          20. InformedVoter December 2, 2016

            Sorry Elle, but I never asked to see your resume and from what you posted certainly could not be construed as a resume. “Worked at BK 2 weeks; worked at Subway 1 month, took some classes and got a job” Reads real smartly doesn’t it?
            I did provide my “resume” and more than once.
            So yes, I still have the balls (that you’ll never have unless you follow Chaz) to ask for proof. When someone makes a statement like Helpy did about the auto bailout making $15 billion profit, you know you’re going to be asked to provide something to back it up. Especially since it’s common knowledge that the bailout cost the taxpayers big dollars.

            Reply
          21. bobnstuff December 2, 2016

            Only one problem with this story, most of those numbers can’t be proven since there are no official records. If you pick almost any of these numbers and try to verify them you find problems. LA does have one of the largest illegal populations in the country but Ca. doesn’t keep many records that use immigration status as part of them. The underground economy is also very hard to prove since it’s just basically a guess. Since these people are illegal anything about them are estimates not hard numbers.
            http://www.snopes.com/politics/immigration/taxes.asp

            Reply
          22. InformedVoter December 2, 2016

            I would agree that it would seem to be difficult to state with certainty numbers about illegals. But when the mayors of the sanctuary cities speak, they have no trouble spouting how many of their citizens will be “harmed” if deportations of illegals who committed crimes were carried out. So, if these mayors can state populations with assurances their numbers are valid, then it should be fair game to use their numbers when trying to address the problems of illegals. Right?
            Here’s an interesting site that you’ll claim is bogus, but you won’t be able to prove it.
            “Donald Trump is absolutely correct that large volumes of illegal votes were cast in the 2016 presidential race predominantly for Democrat candidates and illegal immigrants were brought across the borders to reinforce Obama and Hillary Clinton in these elections,” said William Gheen, president of ALIPAC. “Obama himself admitted on video to Spanish language audiences comprised of illegal immigrants that illegals would face no scrutiny or hindrances registering to vote and voting, both of which are felonies and deportable offenses. We will work hard to ensure that American voters are never faced with their votes being stolen and muted by foreign nationals again. Let the contentious and historic 2016 elections be remembered as the point where Americans secured our borders and ballots from illegal immigration!”
            Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2016/11/everything-you-need-to-know-about-election-recount/#Y0yzUp7p2gJZ39TI.99

            Reply
          23. Eleanore Whitaker December 2, 2016

            Trump is the original Teflon Don. He makes the late John Gotti jealous with his strategies to always get away with it.

            But now he is in the DC fishbowl where he can’t rely on insiders to keep it all secret. So, his downfall is coming the minute he approves any legislation that help enrich him or his family in any way. Already there are 6 Constitutional lawyers saying he may not be able to fully function as part of the Executive Branch due to the fact that his name remains on his businesses he claims he is dumping. His name is his profit.

            Reply
          24. Box December 2, 2016

            What does that have to do with anything? So he values at $1000 trillion. So what? Someone would have have to buy for a value to be proved real. But still, if the value is high or low, who cares? what difference does it make to anyone?

            Reply
        2. Eleanore Whitaker December 2, 2016

          Hey freeloading trough feeder. FACT: Trump is not now nor EVER will be MY president. He is yours and everything from all of his twisted lies to his thieving YOU OWN.

          He has to disconnect himself from HIS 200 plus business jerk. FACT: He cannot in any way approve ANY legislation he KNOWS would in ANY WAY enrich anything his name is attached to. Do you actually ever stop your BSing long enough to READ the US Constitution?

          FACT: If he passes a single tax cut during his time in office that proves to enrich his business empire, by allowing him to avoid paying his fair share of taxes, HE GETS IMPEACHED.

          FACT: You get to post your “OPINION.” You DO NOT get to own your own facts. They are either facts or they are YOUR BS.

          Don’t you hicks ever use those brains? Or are you all like Trump, sex addict Republicans whose only thoughts are not with THIS country, but with what’s between your legs of some hick tramp’s legs?

          Your comments are always the ones others take issue with. The only nut baggers who take issue with mine are scumbucket selfiish, self-centered, brain maimed, fat gut beer belly Corn Pones and Mutton Chops.

          You only prove what we all know about you hicks. You are full of yourselves. So is Trump. Great match ego for ego. Stop posting if all you know how to post is BS.

          Reply
          1. InformedVoter December 2, 2016

            Poor Elle, I’m still waiting for your proof that 3,000 Clinton votes were found in WI (two days before the recount started).
            President Trump IS your president just like Obama is mine (until January 20). There is a God.
            All what you posted above is sadly not correct. He does NOT have to divest himself. Even TNM admitted this. Just like he does NOT have to release his tax returns.
            As to passing legislation that would help any of his businesses, ti would have to help ONLY his enterprises. If other businesses are helped, then nothing wrong.
            Think about it, if the president passes something that helps children and he has children/grandchildren, then he could be accused to doing for his own family. Just think about it.
            I know your lack of education, coupled with a menial career (despite all you denial) is showing up and leading you to your outbursts of hatred and penis envy.
            I’m surprised your not pulling for Christie to get an appointment so you can be rid of him.

            Reply
          2. InformedVoter December 2, 2016

            Sorry Elle, but your claim was that because of the recount that HilLIARy gained votes. And that remains a lie.

            No one except you low information fools are saying that he MUST divest. Even TNM says he doesn’t have to. So if you think that is wrong, why not take it up with them?
            What they do agree on is that passing the running of the businesses to his family is not a true blind trust. BUT there are no laws or rules that require President Trump to pass any of this holdings to anyone.
            So despite your largely clerical resume, you still can’t conduct a debate properly. Once more, your posts were shredded and made you look foolish.

            Reply
      2. David December 9, 2016

        Eleanore!!!! How does it feel to be outed as an ignorant liar?

        Reply
  4. I Am Helpy November 30, 2016

    Be fair, it’s not like Republicans have ever read the Constitution.

    Reply
  5. Eleanore Whitaker December 1, 2016

    Also be reminded that Jimmy Carter and George W. Bush fully relinquished WITH proof that they no longer held interests in any way, shape or form in their former businesses. Why do the righties think Trump is an exception?

    You know why. Because out of the mouths of right wingers, you get twisted truths, facts and misinterpretations of rules and regulations.

    Reply
    1. yabbed December 1, 2016

      And let’s not forget that Barack Obama cashed out entirely and put all his money in treasury bills for the duration of his presidency.

      Reply
      1. Box December 2, 2016

        And lets not forget that Obama is much richer today than before office. How, from treasury bill interest of what, 2%? And how did he buy that $11 million house in Hawaii on a civil servants salary?

        Reply
        1. bobnstuff December 2, 2016

          Go look at Obama’s tax returns, they are open to the public.

          Reply
        2. yabbed December 2, 2016

          President Obama had $8 mil from his best seller books before taking office and now he has a net worth of $10 mil. His tax returns each year show he was in Treasury bills.

          I have no idea how much he paid for a House in Hawaii but it would appear to me that a man with $10 mil in treasury bills would easily qualify for a mortgage. 🙂

          Reply
          1. Eleanore Whitaker December 2, 2016

            Trump’s Daddy started him out with $200 million. Trump owns 200 plus businesses worldwide. You bitch about $10 million? Trump would laugh you out of his Trump Penthouse.

            Reply
    2. J, Dial December 1, 2016

      Not sure how this applies to Veeps, but Cheney had oil interests in Iraq even after we invaded. Pulled out finally but . . .

      Reply
      1. Box December 2, 2016

        He left Halliburton but after quite a while, after Halliburton was in the news for bad stuff in Iraq. Did he return to Halliburton later? I dont know. But he didnt let go of that flu treatment and benefitted bigly while the nation suffered with repeated flus.

        Reply
    3. Box December 2, 2016

      Not so. Trump has already walked away, what proof do you want?

      But as far as I know, Carter and Bush both returned to their previous interests after leaving office as im sure Trump will too. Whats wrong with that?

      Reply
      1. bobnstuff December 2, 2016

        Carter had a peanut farm that he turned over to be run by a neighbor. Bush had a ranch. Neither were big businesses. They were their homes.Trump has business dealings in 20 different countries. Not quit the same thing.Some of these companies are being investigated by the governments in those countries. You don’t see a problem here?

        Reply
  6. TMZ1928 December 1, 2016

    None of these precedents matter now that Obama and Lynch put the fix in for Hillary rather than letting the indictment for her long list of federal crimes go forward. In doing so, they both sullied their reputations and their legacies. She should have been preparing for her trial these past few months, not running for president. There is no law that would force Trump to divest, but Hillary violated many. There could still be a RICO case for the Clintons foundation pay to play dealings.

    USC Title 18 § 793 – Gathering, Transmitting or Losing Defense Information
    USC Title 18 § 798 – Disclosure of Classified Information
    USC Title 18 § 1905 – Disclosure of Confidential Information
    USC Title 18 § 2071 – Concealment, Removal, or Mutilation of Records
    USC Title 42 § 2274 – Communication of Restricted Data
    USC Title 42 § 2275 – Receipt of Restricted Data
    USC Title 42 § 2276 – Tampering With Restricted Data
    USC Title 42 § 2277 – Disclosure of Restricted Data

    Reply
    1. johninPCFL December 1, 2016

      Yes, and Comey indicated that all of those would be wrapped up inside a “disciplinary” action within the DoS, that the worst-case penalty would be loss of her security clearance.
      Sorry, violating the Constitutional prohibition of taking gifts from foreign powers “Trumps” getting your security clearance popped.

      Reply
  7. yabbed December 1, 2016

    Who can trust this man. He’s a certified, admitted con man. He does only what enhances himself and his business. He’s going to be running with the stream of corruption and our national reputation will be mud.

    Reply
    1. Box December 2, 2016

      You say he does what helps his business. Given that he has never been a politician with business interests to help that career, I hope he would not have done anything during the past 40 years to not help his business. And, he as already said he has divorced himself from business to be a full-time president. What more do you want?

      As for conflicts, and not withstanding the same charges put against Hillary while IN OFFICE, you are not even counting congressmen, senators, and people throughout the administration who have business interests abroad or otherwise in direct conflict to things they vote on. Ask for such disclosure from Trump AND everyone else too. I want to shake out everything thats being hidden from the people.

      Reply
      1. bobnstuff December 2, 2016

        He has never held office but he has been involved in politics for years, buying and selling politicians. The power isn’t in the office, it’s in the money to get you elected. I think if you check the records congressmen don’t have interests in other countries, it’s against the law. Only the President and Vice President can hold business interests. As far as Clinton you can see where her money came from and where it went because they have made their tax returns public for the last thirty years.

        Reply
      2. yabbed December 2, 2016

        Let’s not get silly here with idiotic false equivalencies. Hillary Clinton never owned companies doing business with foreign countries which personally enriched her. Donald Trump is awash in conflict of interests. The GSA has recently issued a conflict of interest statement re his renting of federal property converted to a Trump branded hotel. The law specifically states government officials cannot profit from doing business with the government. But Trump is already advertising this DC hotel to foreign governments and suggesting that they use that hotel when they are in DC or when they hold events in DC. Further, Trump cannot have his children run his business and also serve as advisors, official or unofficial. And we all know Trump is not an honorable player. He has a well deserved reputation as dishonest and without integrity.

        If you can name Members of Congress or government officials with foreign business interests from which they personally profit from official decisions made then you should send that evidence to the government oversight office and they will file charges.

        Reply
      3. Eleanore Whitaker December 2, 2016

        Sorry if I lived for the last 4 decades with Trump the bad boy grown to a dysfunctional man. I supposed you must have missed how in the 90s, he went on a massive spending spree and lost $995 million of his wealth? You can fact check that in any of the major media sources that are not biased. He told the IRS he was broke but his spending spree told them otherwise. In 1995, Trump tried to claim losses of over $1 billion.

        I suppose you also forget that his own financial advisors warned him about that ultra huge yatch and the purchase of Mar-A-Lago in Florida? See? I have facts. You never do.

        I also suppose you handily and conveniently pretend you don’t know that several of the US’s biggest banks refused him credit as a “poor risk” due to the amount of debt he owed as a result of that spending spree?

        From Fortune Magazine: http://fortune.com/2016/07/17/trump-financial-comeback-story/

        I should think that Fortune Magazine questioning Trump’s financial come back claims would be more money knowledgeable and unbiased than an armchair pretender to the Trump Knows All crown.

        Reply
    2. Eleanore Whitaker December 2, 2016

      He actually “Fudged” the number of jobs “he saved.” It was 700 not 1,000 as he claim. Oh big surprise. One of the Carrier officials was interviewed on CNN shortly after the Orwellian Trump broadcast went on all stations.

      The official stated they are still moving to Mexico. But they are taking those tens of millions in tax subsidies.

      Reply
  8. J, Dial December 1, 2016

    Fact is, we all better learn to do more than just spell “oligarchy.” We must oppose everything that moves us closer to that form of government. Trump is moving us closer before he even takes office. Too man people throw around names like “liberal” or “conservative” as if they were, on the face of it, bad. Same with the snarky Republican or Democrat label. But all can and ought to be part of the tapestry that is democracy. Oligarchy, on the other hand, is something that’s creeping up on us and we don’t even realize it. For those who say we’re a republic, not a democracy, same looming threat. From oligarchy (rule by a few, usually wealthy, for self-gain or unethical purposes), comes dictatorship. Simplistically speaking, anarchy follows. If we will each stand up to the gradual but erosive bending of the rules, speaking out loudly without trying to thwart legal protest, we can save this country. Everyone has to do his/her part, within their own wheelhouse, so to speak. Your party, your activist group, your power base, whatever it is — city, county, state.

    Reply
    1. Box December 2, 2016

      You are describing Obama over 8 years. But how is Trump creating an oligarchy?

      But if you are unhappy, as certainly many of us are, were you protesting this over the past years or doing nothing at all? What im saying is, lately people have been waking up to various abuses that have been creeping for years and it may be too late to do anything about it now. The Founders implored people never go to sleep because if they did, your post would be the result.

      Reply
      1. Eleanore Whitaker December 2, 2016

        FACT: Obama didn’t own 200 plus foreign businesses.
        FACT: Obama took office when there was NO money in the Treasury.
        FACT: McConnell, Ryan, Issa, Cornyn, Chaffetz and the rest of your attack dogs obstructed EVERY goddamn thing President Obama tried to do. Now, it is OUR turn to return your favors.
        FACT: Obama never lied about the jobs he saves. Trump lied and stated just last night that he saved 1,000 jobs in Pence’s state of Indiana at the Carrier plant.
        FACT: Carrier still intends to move to Mexico and there is NO way to force any corporation from doing that.
        FACT: Obama never lied about the number of jobs he saved. Trump Claims he saved 1,000? BS. Carrier already reported he only saved a lousy 700. And those are only the ones staying behind to close down the plant.
        FACT: Carrier got a $7 million tax subsidy the people of Indiana will now pay for.
        FACT: Obama took out more al Qaeda than your Bush/Cheney president and also took out more ISIS.
        FACT: Right wingers live on lies they make up on a minute by minute basis.
        FACT: Who believes a liar like you?
        FACT: Why do you think your opinion is fact when we know it is BS?

        Reply
      2. J, Dial December 2, 2016

        I respectfully disagree. And I’ve always been politically active, not just outspoken. I write, I speak, and I serve — never been “asleep” re: governing a day since I was 14-years old. And the fact is, for any student of politics, I can tell you no one would describe Obama’s presidency as an Oligarchy. Did he propose and pass some legislation that some called democratic socialism? Yes, he did. Sometimes those labels were accurate, sometimes not. I believe the truth is this — on the “wheel” of political continuum we are moving far to the right. Moving to the left doesn’t get us dictatorship. It would get us socialism, such as practiced in some countries like France, Canada (and even in monarchies such as the UK). But not an oligarchy. You may dislike President Obama and/or his policies intensely but that doesn’t mean any bad thing you can say about him is true.

        Reply
        1. Eleanore Whitaker December 2, 2016

          Box Brain is defective. As all of the Trump right wingers are. Box wants to try and make his mental illness seem “normal” that way he will never have to admit his is a loony and belongs in a loony bin with the rest of his narrow minded control freaks.

          Like you, I also have been politically active from the day my first employer, a then SBA ombudswoman, realized I didn’t even know who my NJ Senators were. From that point on, I actually found politics quite interesting.

          For me, this election wasn’t about Hillary winning. I’d have been as supportive of Sanders or any other Democrat. My loathing for the Republican Party comes from being a Republican when I registered at age 19 in rebellion to my parents who then were Democrats.

          However, over the years, I realized I rarely ever voted for Republicans, choosing either an Independent or a Democrat. But, in 2004 when Bush and Cheney rigged the 2nd election, I saw where that party was heading and became a Democrat. I did look for a time at the Libertarian Party but that was worse than the crooked Republicans and just as bossy, high handed and bullying.

          What I find now is that there is a middle aged generation and some of the most overindulged older 1950s seniors who do not care about truth and facts. You tell them the truth and they flip the switch and it becomes a lie. You present them with facts and they flip the switch again and it becomes distortions, deceptions and the worst type of aggressive need to control those of us doing most of the taxpaying and the working to pay those taxes.

          Reply
          1. J, Dial December 2, 2016

            I would say we were sisters separated at birth but your 1950s reference threw me just a bit. I was born in 1951, and came to politics by helping my father campaign for a man who was running for county commissioner here in Texas. So I must say, I know lots of us Boomers who came to be Democrats simply because their platform more readily aligned with our thinking. My sisters, husband, several friends — We are pro-choice, not pro-abortion. Some of our classmates came out as gay when we hit our 30s and 40s, and we already knew they were good responsible people so why should that have changed our minds? Many of us realized all those drugs weren’t harmless and while some were able to continue recreationally, some became addicted — we saw no help anywhere. We wanted compassionate approaches, not handouts, where help was available. Mostly, though, I worked for a couple of Trump clones. It was simply gut-wrenching. As a single mother in 1975, with my soon to be ex resisting child support at every turn, I was wounded and afraid. Yet went back to work every day at the same dept. store where the male managers made comments about whether I was missing sex?! I mean, really? Believe me, they weren’t being charitable, nor worried about me. I get furious today every time someone tells me I could have quit. At any rate, I do agree with you wholeheartedly that too many people won’t let the facts confuse them!! Ill, indeed!
            I don’t believe everything Obama did was perfect, nor everything Bush did was horrid. I just encourage others to do as you did — look at a list of issues and if more fall in the Dem category, then vote issues. Pretty simple for those who don’t hate!

            Reply
  9. Eleanore Whitaker December 2, 2016

    Trump still thinks he is running some bizarre political contest and Romney, Guiliani and the rest of the Pay to Play brown noses are all rally around hoping for a plum position.

    Meanwhile back at the Penthouse, the Penthouse President thinks he can flip a switch and pretend to “dump all of his businesses.” BS. He has spent the last decade, since he lost that $995 million in the 90s when he went on the massive buying spree and bought himself every ego busting toy known to mankind, he lost his credit with banks who now he never tells the truth and has huge problems with facts he doesn’t like.

    So by the year 2000, he saw the dollar value in the Trump name and that is ALL he sells. Prostitutes do the same thing.

    He can say he is dumping his empire. But, the minute you demand proof, you find out, oh no…he has merely played more of his right wing BS games and tricked the public.

    These right wingers are so stupid they all say he is a “self made man.” Those of us who remember Fred Trump, know his son the Teflon Don was handed over $200 million to start his own empire only so Fred could be rid of his wayward, ruthless, punk son.

    No matter how Trump slices it, he cannot sign off on ANY piece of legislation, least of all tax cuts that we already know only enrich the 1%. Do that and he is impeached.

    His game is to “hide” but in DC that is not possible. If there is one thing the Emperor Trump will miss, it is the ability to always “hide” what he does. He’s in the smallest fishbowl in the world now and nothing he dares to do in secrecy won’t get out in a matter of a week or less.

    That’s why he wants and end to the First Amendment. Right wingers can bitch till the cows come home. They will not force anyone who was raised to know right from wrong to just “go along” and not obstruct a common low life scumball like Trump.

    What goes around comes around. When Mitch the Bitch told the world, “We will make Obama a one term president,” he forgot that cocky men with cocky mouths get under the skin of too many decent honest Americans. Now, these wingers think Trump can do just as he pleases as if he is their KING? Think again jerks. You obstructed Obama for 8 years? NOW WE OBSTRUCT TRUMP. How does it feel?

    Reply

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