Democratic Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren will introduce legislation Monday targeting President-elect Donald Trump’s numerous and wide-ranging financial investments.
The bill, called the Presidential Conflict of Interest Act, will require any president and vice president to divulge and divest all financial conflicts of interest, Politico Morning Money reports.
Currently, under Title 18 Section 208 of the U.S. code, Congress exempts the president and vice president from conflict-of-interest laws. Generally, public officials in the executive branch are subject to criminal prosecution if they substantially participate in matters in which they hold vested financial interests.
The current code has not applied the same restrictions to the presidency because Congress is weary of interfering with the constitutional duties of the president. As a result, there is no legal precedent or requirement for the president-elect to extricate himself from his financial interests under conflict-of-interest laws.
The president-elect has already cut ties with the Trump Foundation, and said he will put his sons, Don Jr. and Eric, along with other executives, in total control of his business before Inauguration Day. This move, however, has many questioning if Trump’s trust is blind at all, given that his children will be running his business and some say he plans to rely on them as advisers while in office. (RELATED: Trump To Cut Ties With His Foundation)
While 30 Democrats will introduce the bill with Warren, it has little chance of passing a Republican controlled House and Senate. It does, however, tee Democrats up nicely for the president-elect’s Wednesday press conference where he is to address potential conflicts of interests while serving as president.
“The American people deserve to know that the President of the United States is working to do what’s best for the country – not using his office to do what’s best for himself and his businesses,” Warren said in a statement. “The only way for President-elect Trump to truly eliminate conflicts-of-interest is to divest his financial interests by placing them in a blind trust. This has been the standard for previous presidents, and our bill makes clear the continuing expectation that President-elect Trump do the same.”
This is the latest move by Democrats to make Trump’s transition as rocky a ride as possible. Democratic officials continue to call for Trump’s tax returns, to extricate himself from his business interests, and clearly illustrate his family’s involvement with his role as the 45th president of the United States.
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