President-elect Trump’s Conflicts: Still on Collision Course with Constitution

Washington, DC – Following President-elect Donald Trump’s press conference today, where he and his staff attempted to explain how he will bring himself and the Trump Administration into compliance with the Constitution and federal statutes, Constitutional Accountability Center President Elizabeth Wydra issued the following reaction:

 

“President-elect Trump’s press conference only raises more questions about whether he will comply with the Constitution’s anti-corruption provisions. While his team suggested he will donate revenue from foreign government guests staying at his hotels, this far from satisfies the Constitution. Major questions remain:

 

  • How will he address all of his foreign business dealings, not just the profits from guests staying at his hotels? Why is he not asking Congress to approve even this plan regarding hotel revenues from foreign sources, as the Constitution contemplates? 
  • Because the process Trump outlined today is utterly obscure, violating every principle of transparency, how can the public be assured that he is complying with the law? 
  • Finally, while Trump purported to address concerns about his conflicts of interest relating to the Constitution’s Foreign Emoluments Clause, his team did not even mention the Domestic Emoluments Clause. How does he plan to assure compliance with the Domestic Emoluments Clause, as well?

“Prior to today, Trump has exhibited reckless disregard for America’s governing norms and decades of practice by past presidents. On dealing with his many conflicts of interest, his press conference today did little to remedy that. Next week, Trump will be taking a solemn oath to uphold the Constitution. He must do much more to eliminate his conflicts of interest to avoid taking that oath without a very dark cloud of constitutional uncertainty hanging over his presidency from day one.”

 

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Resources:

 

“For Trump, Even Carrying Out Core Responsibilities Of The Presidency Creates Conflicts,” CAC Chief Counsel Brianne Gorod, Huffington Post, December 22, 2016: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/brianne-j-gorod/for-trump-even-carrying-o_b_13797994.html 

 

“On Trump Conflicts, Don’t Forget About the Other Emoluments Clause,” CAC Chief Counsel Brianne Gorod, Huffington Post, December 19, 2016: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/brianne-j-gorod/on-trump-conflicts-dont-f_b_13721348.html 

 

“Presidential Ethical Standards Are Rooted In The Constitution,” CAC President Elizabeth Wydra, Huffington Post, December 15, 2016: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/elizabeth-b-wydra/presidential-ethical-stan_b_13650874.html

 

“Can Courts Hold Trump Accountable For Violating The Emoluments Clause?” CAC Chief Counsel Brianne Gorod, Huffington Post, November 29, 2016: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/brianne-j-gorod/can-courts-hold-trump-accountable_b_13306772.html

 

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Constitutional Accountability Center (www.theusconstitution.org) is a think tank, public interest law firm, and action center dedicated to fulfilling the progressive promise of the Constitution’s text and history.

 

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