A group of 23 senators urge President-elect Trump to divest his business holdings and not leave his companies in the control of his children.
Both of Delaware’s U.S. Senators Tom Carper and Chris Coons joined New Jersey Senator Cory Booker and Pennsylania’s Bob Casey in signing the letter that questioned the ethical problems that could be created through Trump’s business assets.
“Whether the President of the United States makes decisions about potential trade agreements or sending troops into war, the American people need to know that the President is acting in their best interest,” the Senators wrote. “”As a businessman with interests in the United States and around the world, your holdings have the potential for serious conflicts between the national interest and your personal financial interests.”
Trump has gone back and forth about what he plans to do with his companies when he takes office next month. He had planned a news conference on Thursday to announce those plans, but that event has been delayed until next month.
The group of Senators urged Trump to comply with the recommendations of the Office of Government Ethics that he divest his business holdings to an independent party. Trump has previously said the office of the President is not restricted by federal conflict of interest laws. He told the New York Times in an interview, “The law is totally on my side, meaning, the president can’t have a conflict of interest.”
Despite that, the lawmakers point out in their letter that OGE has previously advised presidents to comply with that federal conflict of interest standard. The letter also reminds Trump that the President is still subject to the Constitution’s Emoluments Clause which prohibits any entity owned by a foreign government from giving payments or gifts to Trump’s businesses.
You can read the letter to President-elect Trump here: