Corruption

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This is a collaborative knowledge base, feel free to propose edits/additions that you believe are important for others to know. Contributions will be reviewed and approved based on quality and accuracy.

Updates on Actions[edit]

  • 1/23/2017: Lawyers have filed a lawsuit alleging Trump is violating the Constitution by allowing hotels and other business operations to continue accepting payments from foreign governments. The suit, which will not be requesting any money damages, will request a federal court to order Trump to stop accepting such payments. [1][2]
  • 2/11/17 NJ Congressman Bill Pascrell wants to use a law from 1924 to force a Congressional examination of Trump's tax returns.[3][4][5]

How You Can Resist[edit]

Dial tel:844-6-RESIST to tell your Senators to support the Presidential Conflicts of Interest Act of 2017, which would require the President and Vice President to fully divest themselves of conflicts of interest [6]

White House Using the Presidency for Personal Gain[edit]

  • Trump invited Japanese Prime Minister to stay (and play golf) at his Mar A Lago resort in Florida. There are two concerns 1) by hosting foreign leaders at his resort he is directly receiving money from a foreign government, and, 2) if Trump is putting the Prime Minister up for free "he is then donating money to a foreign government."[7]
  • Kellyanne Conway urged viewers during an appearance on Fox & Friends to buy Ivanka Trump merchandise, adding that she was "going to give it a free commercial here." This is in direct violation of § 2635.702 Use of public office for private gain.[8]. In response to this, the House Oversight Committee chaired by Rep. Chaffetz, sent a letter to the Office of Government Ethics asking for a review of potential ethics violations. Since Ms. Conway reports to the President, and the comment was made regarding his daughter's private business, this created an additional conflict of interest.[9]
  • 2/8/17 Oversight Dems are calling on the GSA to release "unredacted, complete" docs detailing how they're addressing Trump's apparent lease breach.[10]
  • 2/7/17 Department of Defense looks to rent space in Trump Tower[11]
  • 2/3/17 Donald Trump has two (2) events this weekend, and both benefit his businesses.[12]
  • Donald Trump's hotel chain plans to triple its US presence contradicting a pledge the president made in December that no new deals would be done by his organization during his time in office.[13]
  • Trump signed an executive order that would suspend all entry to the U.S. from seven Muslim-majority countries in the Middle East. His proposed list doesn’t include Muslim-majority countries where his Trump Organization has done business or pursued potential deals.[14]
  • Eric Trump's business trip cost taxpayers $97,830 in hotel bills.[15]
  • President Trump issued a Memorandum regarding the North Dakota Pipeline. The Memorandum instructed the Secretary of the Army to instruct the Army Corp of Engineers to expedite the permitting and easement process.[16] The North Dakota Pipeline is owned by Energy Transfer Partners and Donald Trump held shares worth between $500,000 and $1,000,000 according to a disclosure form with the Federal Election Commission.[17] His spokewoman Hope Hicks has claimed that he sold the stock, but there is no evidence of this transaction.[18]
  • 2/9/17 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. This appears to violate the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution.[19]

Trump's Cabinet Nomination's Conflicts of Interest[edit]

  • HHS Secretary nominee, Tom Price, may have violated the STOCK (Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge) Act for purchasing a stock and then introducing legislation to help it.[20] 1/30/17 Updated: it appears Rep. Tom Price received a privileged offer to buy the (biomedical) stock at a discount, which is contrary to earlier testimony that he gave this month.[21]
  • Wall Street Billionaire Vincent Viola, nominee for Army Secretary, withdraws citing business conflicts [22]
  • Trumps Education Nominee, Betsy DeVos and her family members, are major donors to the Senators who will vote on her nomination.
  • Commerce Secretary Nominee, Wilbur Ross, plans to keep millions of dollars invested in offshore entities whose values could be affected by policies that he implements as commerce secretary.[23]

Law[edit]

§ 2635.702 Use of public office for private gain.

An employee shall not use his public office for his own private gain, for the endorsement of any product, service or enterprise, or for the private gain of friends, relatives, or persons with whom the employee is affiliated in a nongovernmental capacity, including nonprofit organizations of which the employee is an officer or member, and persons with whom the employee has or seeks employment or business relations. The specific prohibitions set forth in paragraphs (a) through (d) of this section apply this general standard, but are not intended to be exclusive or to limit the application of this section.

Trump's Potential Conflicts of Interest[edit]

  • Donald Trump has named his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, to the position of senior advisor which most experts concluded was in violation of anti-nepotism laws.[24] However, the Justice Department has issued an opinon saying that it is not a violation.[25] The opinion is not binding on the courts but it is unclear who would have the ability to challenge the appointment because it would be hard for someone to claim they are personally harmed by the appointment.[26]
  • Donald Trump and his children have over 500 potential conflicts of interest.[27] This is because, in violation of past ethical norms, Trump is not divesting himself of his assets or putting them into a blind trust where he won't know how they're being managed.[28] President Trump has not resigned from management positions of his companies.[29] His plan to have his adult sons manage his holdings was harshly condemned by the non-partisan Office of Government Ethics saying that it puts democracy at risk.[30] If Mr. Trump receives a gift (monetary or not) from a foreign government through his business dealings, he may find himself in violation of the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution and open to impeachment.[31] Furthermore, trust records show that Trump is still closely tied to his empire. Records show the purpose of the Donald J. Trump Revocable Trust is to hold assets for the “exclusive benefit” of the president.[32]
  • The FEC has asked Donald Trump for clarification about 50 campaign donations out of concern that they may be illegal[33]
  • The White House website's biography of Melania Trump promoted her jewelry line but has been updated to simply describe her as an entrepenuer.[34]
  • Donald Trump registered eight new companies in Saudi Arabia shortly after announcing his bid for the presidency (August 2015). Trump registered the companies under names including THC Jeddah Hotel and DT Jeddah Technical Services. [35]
  • The companies that make up the Trump Organization save millions of dollars on taxes because they can deduct interest paid on debts from their total taxable income. Congressional Republicans have proposed changing the tax code to eliminate this deduction, but Trump's tax plan would maintain the deduction and the benefits for his companies. [36]
  • Several large corporations that stand to benefit from Trump's policies contributed to Trump's inaugural committee, which earned them increased access to inaugural events. These corporations include Pfizer, Dow Chemical, Microsoft, Exxon, Amgen, Altria, GM, and Verizon. [37]
  • Trumps wife, Melania, admitted she hoped to cash in on being First Lady by selling clothes and fragrances[38]
  • Trump blasted Nordstrom for discontinuing to carry his daughter Ivanka's brand. He said she was being treated unfairly. Nordstrom's stock temporarily dipped, but later rebounded.[39]
  • Donald Trump's son Eric visited a decade-old, failed real estate project in the Dominican Republic. There is talk that the project may be revived. This goes against the President's pledge that his company would not launch new foreign deals while he is in office.[40]

Trump Cabinet Nomination's Potential Conflicts of Interest[edit]

  • 2/12/17 Labor Secretary Nominee, Andrew Puzder, owes millions to convicted bank that's seeking Labor Dept waiver.[41]phttp://www.ibtimes.com/political-capital/donald-trumps-labor-secretary-pick-andrew-puzder-owes-millions-ubs-bank-seeks[
  • 2/8/17 Treasury Secretary Nominee, Joe Manchin's daughter is being investigated by the Justice Department.[42] Heather Bresch, is CEO of Mylan which makes EpiPens. Mylan appeared to have hiked the price of the epinephrine auto-injector by 400 percent since 2007.[43]
  • 2/8/17 Labor Secretary Nominee, Andy Puzder, says he will divest from more than 200 investments if confirmed. Puzder said in his ethics agreement that he would step down as CEO of CKE Restaurants, sell his ownership in the company, and he might forgo a bonus.[44]

Resources[edit]

Building a System of Comprehensive Accountability to Control Corruption By Larry Diamond