Yesterday, Katherine Clark, who represents the 5th district in the U.S. Congress, introduced the Presidential Conflicts of Interest Act, H.R. 371. The legislation would require both the President and Vice President of the United States to disclose financial conflicts of interest between their own businesses and investments and their work as public officials. If it becomes law, the bill will also require the President and Vice President to divest themselves completely from such conflicts of interest.
What makes this so important? The term “conflict of interest” is really just a euphemism for corruption. When public officials stand to gain financially from the decisions they make in their positions of public trust, no one can trust that their policies are crafted in the public interest. Conflicts of interest lead elected officials to use their positions to gain wealth for themselves – an approach that Donald Trump has repeatedly refused to apologize for.
Donald Trump’s conflicts of interest are unprecedented. He has businesses active in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Indonesia, the Philippines, India, the UK, Argentina, Turkey, Georgia, Taiwan, China, Mexico, Honduras, Germany, and most ominously, Russia.
Trump has declared that he will not place his businesses in a blind trust while he is President of the United States, but will allow his adult children, Eric and Donald Jr., to run the businesses on his behalf, while he meets with them and gives them contact with foreign dignitaries. Eric Trump has been so openly defiant of accusations of corruption in recent weeks that he has literally auctioned off time with his father to the highest bidder – for meetings after Donald Trump becomes President.
The Presidential Conflicts of Interest Act would put a stop to all this Trump corruption. “Not later than 30 days after assuming the office of President or Vice President, respectively, the President and Vice President shall submit to Congress and the Director of the Office of Government Ethics a disclosure of financial interests,” the legislation reads.
The bill has 93 cosponsors so far. Not a single one of them is a Republican.