Potential Conflicts of Interest and Ethics Violations
Ask: Congress must throughly investigate Trump's financial ties to foreign entities and money laundering schemes
- Start hearings to find out if Mr. Trump is receiving gifts from foreign countries, a violation of the emoluments clause
- Continue investigation to determine potential conflicts of interest
- Share as many findings as possible with the public as soon as possible
October 19, 2016
Source: The Financial Times
Article Title: Dirty Money - Trump and the Kazakh Connection
Highlights from the Article: A Financial Times investigation has found evidence that one Trump venture has multiple ties to an alleged international money laundering network. Title deeds, bank records and correspondence show that a Kazakh family accused of laundering hundreds of millions of stolen dollars bought luxury apartments in a Manhattan tower part-owned by Mr Trump and embarked on major business ventures with one of the tycoon’s partners.
November 1, 2016
Source: The New York Times
Highlights from Article: Donald Trump implied during one of the presidential debates that he legally took advantage of tax loopholes available to him to avoid paying taxes for nearly 18 years. Meanwhile, this article says that his tax advisors believed his move to be "legally dubious." This article provides a great graphic representation of how this tax loophole works.
December 8, 2016
Source: Talking Points Memo
Article Title: Maybe the Answer is He Can't Divest
Highlights from Article: In this op-ed, the author uses game theory, to reason that it's highly likely that Trump won't release his taxes because he's not actually as wealthy as he says he is, and he probably owes a ton of money to other people, but there's a lot of strong references included within.
Highlights from Article: Donald Trump's companies owe over $1B to Wells Fargo, JP Morgan, Blackrock, Deutsche Bank, Prudential Bank creating a huge conflicts of interest. Trump also borrowed substantially from the Bank of China.
Article Title: Trump says won't divest from his business while president
Highlights from Article: Trump repeated that he would find a way to divest from his businesses while on the campaign trail; on January 11, he held a press conference with a stack of nearly empty folders to announce that he wouldn't separate himself from his businesses after all, but his sons would run the business day to day, instead of securing his assets in a blind trust, as was recommended to him by ethics watchdogs. He also pledged not to invest in new deals outside of the United States; and his sons have already broken that pledge, per this article.
February 9, 2017
Article Title: Saudis Foot Tab at Trump Hotel
A lobbying firm working for Saudi Arabia paid for a room at Donald Trump’s Washington hotel after Inauguration Day, marking the first publicly known payment on behalf of a foreign government to a Trump property since he became president. (Emoluments violation #1)
February 10, 2017
Source: Mother Jones
Article Title: Trump's Indonesian Business Partner Brags About His Access
In a recent interview with Indonesian weekly Tempo titled "I Have Access to President Trump," Hary Tanoesoedibjo, a billionaire who inked deals with the Trump Organization to build luxury resorts on the islands of Bali and Lido, said he has instant access to Trump's children and through them can reach Trump whenever he wants. (So much for not being involved in his businesses!)
Tanoesoedibjo told the magazine that his existing relationship with Trump means he can help put people in touch with the American president. He noted that he set up a 2015 meeting between Trump and two Indonesian politicians, which Trump turned into a campaign stunt. One of the politicians was later caught on tape in what was allegedly an effort to solicit a $4 billion payout from an American mining company seeking to do business in Indonesia.
February 14, 2017
Source: New York Times
Highlights from Article: Ivanka Trump's line of consumer products have not been selling well in several retailers, who have subsequently announced they will not be carrying the products any longer. President Donald Trump went on a Twitter tirade bashing the store and then during "clean up mode," KellyAnne Conway, Trump's spokeswoman, decided to fully endorse Ivanka's products, which was potentially illegal because the government is not allowed to show favoritism to one company over another.
Article Title: Donald Trump May Have Just Committed an Impeachable Offense
Highlights from Article: He got trademark approval from China for using the name "Trump" in Construction one week after speaking with the Chinese Prime Minister, after fighting for approval for 10 years. This action probably constitutes as another violation of the emoluments clause, i.e. the one where a sitting President can't accept gifts from foreign governments without Congressional approval.
Congress must investigate.
February 17, 2017
Source: The Atlantic
Article Title: Donald Trump's Conflicts of Interests: A Crib Sheet
Highlights from Article: President Trump has still not distanced himself from his business, as he promised he would earlier in January. This creates the perception that the American Presidency is up for bids, which does not bode well for American foreign policy, domestic policy or the American people. There is also a full run- down of the news covering his conflicts of interests, which lists 33 known and outstanding issues.
Congress must investigate.