NY Times Trump's Brazen Sham

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lennygoran
Posts: 12233
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2007 9:28 pm
Location: new york city

NY Times Trump's Brazen Sham

Post by lennygoran » Sat Mar 11, 2017 8:22 am

What a brazen sham and not enough Congressmen to put a stop to it. Regards, Len :(


Sue While the Conflicts Are Hot

By THE EDITORIAL BOAR MARCH 10, 2017


The president’s son Eric probably said it best: “I think our brand is the hottest it has ever been.” No surprise there — nothing like a presidency to boost business. It is nevertheless shocking to see the brazenness of the ethical conflicts and watch the first family celebrate its good fortune.

But shock is giving way to action, and the lawsuits are starting to pile up. Last week, several public interest groups, including Democracy 21 and Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, called on Preet Bharara, the United States attorney for the Southern District of New York and an aggressive prosecutor of corruption, to investigate the Trump Organization, the New York-based business through which Mr. Trump owns and controls his hotels, golf courses and other holdings. But that effort might not go far because the Department of Justice on Friday asked Mr. Bharara and 45 other United States attorneys appointed by former President Barack Obama to resign.

Some of those groups have also sued Mr. Trump in United States District Court in New York, asserting that he is violating the emoluments clause of the Constitution, which prohibits government officials from accepting profits, gifts and other things of value from foreign governments without approval from Congress. Yet, businesses owned by Mr. Trump are making a mint from the governments of other countries and not even notifying lawmakers.

Foreign diplomats are flocking to his Washington hotel, down the street from the White House, to spend money and curry favor with the administration. The president continues to rent space in Trump Tower to a Chinese government-owned bank and an agency of Abu Dhabi.

Regulators in China, a market that Mr. Trump has long sought to break into, just gave his business 38 valuable trademarks in a process that was unusually speedy for a trademark application. To make matters — or at the very least appearances — worse, this occurred after Mr. Trump toned down his harsh talk toward Beijing.

How can Americans trust that policy has been unaffected by profits, when Mr. Trump’s travel ban did not affect any of the countries where he has business interests? Possible conflicts are everywhere. Mr. Trump recently directed the Environmental Protection Agency to roll back regulations that are intended to protect drinking water supplies from pollution and runoff — a move that will benefit his golf courses.

It is clear what Mr. Trump needs to do: sell his businesses and put the proceeds in a blind trust overseen by independent managers. But he has refused and says he has addressed the problem by handing control of his companies to his sons. That arrangement is a sham. He still owns his businesses and his family is hardly independent of him.

Regrettably, the Republicans who control Congress have decided they have no obligation to hold presidents of their own party accountable. Despite repeated requests by Democrats, they have shown little interest in investigating Mr. Trump’s business interests when there are compelling reasons to do so. Just this week, The New Yorker reported that Mr. Trump licensed his name to a hotel and residential tower being developed by a political family in Azerbaijan that has close ties to an Iranian group linked to that country’s elite Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps.

So it may be up to the public to press the White House on ethics. In a hopeful sign, a restaurant in Washington, Cork Wine Bar, filed a lawsuit on Wednesday against Mr. Trump’s hotel, located in a building owned by the government. The lawsuit asserts that the hotel is competing unfairly and illegally because it is owned by the president and is violating its lease with the General Services Administration, which states that no elected official can benefit from the lease. The plaintiffs want Mr. Trump to resign, sell the hotel or shut it down while he is president.

This suit and the others might be long shots. But they are worth pursuing because they keep the pressure on Mr. Trump to divest his businesses. Litigation could force him to provide more information about his businesses and finances, including his tax returns. These campaigns could also shame members of Congress into taking seriously their duty to serve as a check on a president with untold commercial conflicts.


https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/10/opin ... eft-region

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