Difference between revisions of "Trump's Conflicts of Interest"

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== How You Can Resist ==
 
== How You Can Resist ==
*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.[http://www.warren.senate.gov/?p=press_release&id=1342]
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*Dial tel:844-6-RESIST to tell your senators to support the Presidential Conflicts of Interest Act of 2017. The act would require the President and Vice President to fully divest themselves of conflicts of interest.[http://www.warren.senate.gov/?p=press_release&id=1342] See [[How Impeachment Works]] for more information.
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*[https://www.publicintegrity.org/ The Center for Public Integrity] and [https://www.propublica.org/ ProPublica] have worked together to make [https://github.com/PublicI/federal-pfds-data/blob/master/README.md a searchable database] of 220 Trump Administration officials’ financial disclosures. This database makes it easier to detect their financial conflicts of interests.[https://www.publicintegrity.org/2017/06/07/20910/database-trump-administration-officials-personal-finances-grows]
  
 
==Using the Presidency for Personal Gain==
 
==Using the Presidency for Personal Gain==
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===Laws===
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A US law states that public employees cannot use their positions for personal gain or to benefit their friends or relatives:
  
===Laws===
 
 
[https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/5/2635.702 '''§ 2635.702 Use of public office for private gain.''']
 
[https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/5/2635.702 '''§ 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.''  
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''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.''  
===Acts===
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*3/9/2017 Eric Trump, who oversees Trump Golf Courses, stated  (in a press conference) “I think our brand is the hottest it has ever been.” This is due to product placement of incalculable value that is helping boost the Trump Organization’s golf courses: his father. [https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/09/us/politics/trump-golf-courses.html]
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===Trump and Governmental Conflicts===
*3/9/2017 The Office of Government Ethics informed the White House that they were not pleased that [[Trump_Appointments_and_Influencers#Kellyanne_Conway|Kellyanne Conway]] was not being disciplined for promoting [[Trump_Appointments_and_Influencers#Ivanka_Trump|Ivanka Trump]]'s business.[https://twitter.com/chrisgeidner/status/839935775944937472]
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* 6/5/17: The Trump International Hotel in DC received over $270,000 from Saudi lobbyists. The lobbyists oppose the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, which allows US citizens to sue foreign governments that they think are sponsors of terror.[https://www.rawstory.com/2017/06/trumps-dc-hotel-received-270000-from-saudi-lobbyists-trying-to-gut-law-allowing-victims-to-sue-terrorism-sponsors/]
*3/8/2017: Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner are renting a house from a Chilean billionaire whose company is involved in a dispute with the US government over a mine. [https://www.wsj.com/articles/ivanka-trumps-landlord-is-a-chilean-billionaire-suing-the-u-s-government-1489000307]
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*5/24/17: The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform has asked for a hearing with the Trump Organization about its profits from foreign governments. The Constitution requires the president to get Congress's permission to accept money from foreign governments.[https://democrats-oversight.house.gov/sites/democrats.oversight.house.gov/files/documents/2017-05-24.EEC%20to%20Trump%20Organization.pdf]
*3/4/2017:   Donald Trump’s sons, Eric and Donald Jr., are overseeing an expansion of the family business during their father’s presidency. This includes a new hotel chain and expansion to new cities. [https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-sons-planning-expansion-of-family-business-look-to-leverage-campaign-experience/2017/03/04/28e2f44a-fab4-11e6-9845-576c69081518_story.html?utm_term=.dcce78cce9ad]
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*5/3/17: The Department of Defense is planning to rent an apartment in Trump Tower. It is unclear whether Trump would financially benefit from this.[http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-pentagon-trumptower-idUSKBN1812B5]
*Trump invited Japanese Prime Minister to stay (and play golf) at his Mar A Lago resort in [[Florida]]. There are two concerns here: 1) By hosting foreign leaders at his resort, Trump 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."[http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/japanese-pm-s-golf-trip-trump-resort-raises-ethics-questions-n718881]  
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*4/4/17: Donald Trump's attorney confirmed that President Trump can withdraw money from his organizations—which are in a "trust," meaning he is supposedly no longer in charge—at any time. Trump has been able to withdraw money since he took office.[https://www.propublica.org/article/trump-pull-money-his-businesses-whenever-he-wants-without-telling-us]
*[[Trump_Appointments_and_Influencers#Kellyanne_Conway|Kellyanne Conway]] urged viewers during an appearance on Fox & Friends to buy [[Trump_Appointments_and_Influencers#Ivanka_Trump|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.[https://m.mic.com/articles/168097/kellyanne-conway-gives-ivanka-trumps-nordstrom-clothing-line-a-free-commercial?utm_content=buffer6e95b&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=ckatz+twitter#.wHBIU32VU]. 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 Conway reports to the President, and the comment regarded his daughter's private business, this created an additional conflict of interest.[https://twitter.com/gopoversight/status/829819360009125889]
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*3/24/17: After promising not to talk about business with his father, Eric Trump say he'll still give him financial reports from the Trump businesses.[https://www.forbes.com/sites/danalexander/2017/03/24/after-promising-not-donald-talk-business-with-father-eric-trump-says-president-give-him-financial-reports/#4ebf442c359a]
*2/8/17: Democrats on the House Oversight Committee are calling on the General Services Administration to release "unredacted, complete" documents detailing how they're addressing Trump's apparent lease breach (regarding the Old Post Office, a Trump hotel in DC).[https://twitter.com/kylegriffin1/status/829505734081667072]
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*3/6/17: Trump's new version of his [[Muslim_Ban_/_Registry#Trump_.2F_GOP_Muslim_Ban|Muslim Ban]] still does not ban immigrants from countries that the Trump Organization does business in.[https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2017-trump-second-immigration-ban-conflict-of-interest/]
*2/7/17: The Department of Defense is considering renting space in Trump Tower.[https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/department-of-defense-looks-to-rent-space-in-trump-tower/2017/02/07/6dec7252-edb0-11e6-9662-6eedf1627882_story.html?utm_term=.7af30bc65d6a]
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*3/4/17: Donald Trump’s sons, Eric and Donald Jr., are overseeing an expansion of the family business. This includes a new hotel chain and expansion to new cities.[https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-sons-planning-expansion-of-family-business-look-to-leverage-campaign-experience/2017/03/04/28e2f44a-fab4-11e6-9845-576c69081518_story.html?utm_term=.dcce78cce9ad]
*2/3/17: Donald Trump has two events this weekend, both benefiting his businesses.[http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/trump-business-conflicts-mar-a-lago_us_58952d42e4b0c1284f26213d]
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*2/9/17: Trump invited the Japanese prime minister to stay (and play golf) at his Mar-A-Lago resort in [[Florida]]. There are two problems with this: 1) By hosting foreign leaders at his resort, Trump is receiving money from a foreign government; and 2) If Trump is putting the Prime Minister up for free, he is donating money to a foreign government.[http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/japanese-pm-s-golf-trip-trump-resort-raises-ethics-questions-n718881]  
*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.[https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jan/25/trump-hotels-ceo-no-new-deals]
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*2/9/17: During an appearance on Fox & Friends, [[Trump_Administration#Kellyanne_Conway|Kellyanne Conway]] encouraged viewers to buy [[Trump_Administration#Ivanka_Trump|Ivanka Trump]] merchandise, saying that she was giving it a free commercial. This is in direct violation of the US law [[Trump's_Conflicts_of_Interest#Laws|"Use of public office for private gain."]][https://mic.com/articles/168097/kellyanne-conway-gives-ivanka-trumps-nordstrom-clothing-line-a-free-commercial#.yUiIBDxwL] In response to this, the House Oversight Committee sent a letter to the Office of Government Ethics asking for a review of potential ethics violations.[https://twitter.com/gopoversight/status/829819360009125889]
*Trump signed an executive order that would [[Muslim Ban / Registry|suspend all entry to the US 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.[https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2017-trump-immigration-ban-conflict-of-interest/?utm_content=politics&utm_campaign=socialflow-organic&utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&cmpid%253D=socialflow-twitter-politics]
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*2/9/17: A lobbying firm working for Saudi Arabia paid for a room at Donald Trump’s Washington hotel after Inauguration Day. This is the first payment by a foreign government to a Trump property since he became president, and violates the [[How_Impeachment_Works#Bribery|Emoluments Clause of the Constitution]].[http://www.politico.com/story/2017/02/trump-hotel-saudi-arabia-234878?cmpid=sf]
*Eric Trump's recent business trip cost taxpayers $97,830 in hotel bills.[https://t.co/rheCTVijNI?ssr=true]
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*2/3/17: Eric Trump's business trip cost taxpayers $97,830 in hotel bills for the Secret Service.[https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/eric-trumps-trip-to-uruguay-cost-taxpayers-97830-in-hotel-bills/2017/02/03/ababd64e-e95c-11e6-bf6f-301b6b443624_story.html?hpid=hp_rhp-top-table-main_ericsecret-413pm:homepage/story&utm_term=.9a71a34980a0]
*President Trump issued a [[Executive Actions|memorandum]] regarding the [[Climate / Environment|Dakota Access Pipeline]]. The memorandum instructed the Secretary of the Army to instruct the Army Corp of Engineers to expedite the permitting and easement process.[https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/01/24/presidential-memorandum-regarding-construction-dakota-access-pipeline] The Dakota Access Pipeline is owned by Energy Transfer Partners, in which Donald Trump held shares worth between $500,000 and $1,000,000, according to a disclosure form with the Federal Election Commission.[http://docquery.fec.gov/pres/2015/Q3/C00580100.html] His spokeswoman Hope Hicks has claimed that he sold the stock, but there is no evidence of this transaction.[https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2016/11/23/trump-dumped-his-stock-in-dakota-access-pipeline-owner-over-the-summer/?utm_term=.2d13d6b8135c]
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*1/27/17: Trump signed an executive order that would [[Muslim Ban / Registry|suspend all entry to the US from seven Muslim-majority countries]] in the Middle East. His list doesn’t include Muslim-majority countries where his Trump Organization has done or tried to do business.[https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2017-trump-immigration-ban-conflict-of-interest]
*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.[http://www.politico.com/story/2017/02/trump-hotel-saudi-arabia-234878?cmpid=sf]
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*1/25/17: Donald Trump's hotel chain plans to triple its US presence, contradicting a promise the president made in December that his organization wouldn't make any new deals while he was in office.[https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jan/25/trump-hotels-ceo-no-new-deals]
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*1/24/17: President Trump issued a [[Executive Actions|memo]] giving the go-ahead to the [[Climate_/_Environment#Dakota_Access_Pipeline|Dakota Access Pipeline]]. The pipeline is owned by Energy Transfer Partners, in which Trump used to hold shares worth between $500,000 and $1,000,000.[http://docquery.fec.gov/pres/2015/Q3/C00580100.html] His spokeswoman said he sold the stock in summer 2016.[https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2016/11/23/trump-dumped-his-stock-in-dakota-access-pipeline-owner-over-the-summer/?utm_term=.2d13d6b8135c][http://www.snopes.com/does-donald-trump-own-a-stake-in-the-dakota-access-pipeline/]
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*1/23/17: Trump leases the Old Post Office Pavilion in DC for one of his hotels. The fact that Trump now holds public office breaks the terms of the lease and is a conflict of interest.[http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/democrats-challenge-trumps-lease-dc-hotel-building/story?id=44990503]
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*1/10/17: *The Federal Election Commission has asked Donald Trump for clarification about 50 campaign donations, out of concern that they may have been illegal.[http://docquery.fec.gov/pdf/964/201701100300074964/201701100300074964.pdf]
  
== Trump's Potential Conflicts of Interest ==
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== Trump Family's Potential Conflicts of Interest ==
*Donald Trump has named his son-in-law, [[Trump_Appointments_and_Influencers#Jared_Kushner|Jared Kushner]], to the position of senior adviser, which most experts concluded was in violation of anti-nepotism laws.[http://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/09/us/jared-kushner-senior-adviser-white-house-trump.html?&hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=first-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news] However, the Justice Department has issued an opinion saying that it is not a violation.[http://www.politico.com/story/2017/01/justice-department-blesses-white-house-post-for-kushner-233968] The opinion is not binding in court, 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.[http://www.politico.com/story/2017/01/justice-department-blesses-white-house-post-for-kushner-233968]
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*5/21/17: On the same weekend that [[Trump_Administration#Senior_Adviser_Jared_Kushner|Jared Kushner]] negotiated a $110 billion arms deal with the Saudis, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates donated $100 million to Kushner’s wife [[Trump_Administration#Ivanka_Trump|Ivanka Trump’s]] new “women’s fund.[http://www.cnn.com/2017/05/19/politics/jared-kushner-saudi-arms-deal-lockheed-martin/]
*Donald Trump and his children have more than 500 potential conflicts of interest.[http://www.wsj.com/graphics/donald-trump-potential-conflicts-of-interest/] 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.[https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/11/us/politics/trump-organization-business-conflicts.html?emc=edit_na_20170111&nlid=56660956&ref=cta&_r=0] President Trump has not resigned from management positions of his companies.[https://www.propublica.org/article/trump-promised-to-resign-from-his-companies-but-no-record-hes-done-so?utm_campaign=sprout&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter&utm_content=1484944601] His plan to have his adult sons manage his holdings was harshly condemned by the nonpartisan Office of Government Ethics, who said that it puts democracy at risk.[http://www.vox.com/2017/1/11/14243146/trump-conflicts-office-government-ethics-speech]
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*5/6/17: The [[Trump_Administration#Senior_Adviser_Jared_Kushner|Kushner]] family told Chinese investors that if they invested $500,000 in New Jersey real estate, they would get an “investor’s visa” and be allowed to immigrate to the United States.[https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/in-a-beijing-ballroom-kushner-family-flogs-500000-investor-visa-to-wealthy-chinese/2017/05/06/cf711e53-eb49-4f9a-8dea-3cd836fcf287_story.html?tid=ss_tw&utm_term=.eaa6c2524e63]
*If 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 [[How Impeachment Works|impeachment]].[http://fortune.com/2017/01/09/trump-emoluments/] Furthermore, trust records show that Trump is still closely tied to his empire. Records show that the purpose of the Donald J. Trump Revocable Trust is to hold assets for the “exclusive benefit” of the president.[https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/03/us/politics/donald-trump-business.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=b-lede-package-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news]
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*5/4/17: @GenderAtState, the account run by the State Department’s Office of Global Women’s Issues, retweeted Ivanka Trump’s post promoting her new book.[http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/ivanka-trump-book-state-department_us_590b7f4fe4b0104c734d035f?lxp]
*The Federal Election Commission has asked Donald Trump for clarification about 50 campaign donations, out of concern that they may have been illegal.[http://docquery.fec.gov/pdf/964/201701100300074964/201701100300074964.pdf]
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*5/3/17: It was found that Jared Kushner did not mention a real-estate start-up called Cadre or his ties to Goldman Sachs in his government financial disclosures/ Senior government officials are required to disclose all business interests before taking office.[http://www.marketwatch.com/story/trump-adviser-kushners-undisclosed-partners-include-goldman-and-soros-2017-05-03].
*The White House website's biography of First Lady Melania Trump initially promoted her jewelry line, but has been updated to simply describe her as an entreprenuer.[https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2017/01/20/white-house-website-promotes-melania-trumps-modeling-and-jewelry-line/?hpid=hp_hp-bignews3_pp-website-149pm%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.5d280027dd2f]
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*4/26/17: Public pension funds in seven states invest in a fund that owns a New York hotel that one of Trump's companies manages. This could violate a Constitutional clause that says that the president cannot personally make money from states.[http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-hotel-exclusive-idUSKBN17S13O?utm_source=applenews]
*Donald Trump registered eight new companies in Saudi Arabia shortly after announcing his bid for the presidency (August 2015). Trump registered the companies under various names, including THC Jeddah Hotel and DT Jeddah Technical Services.[http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/736569/Donald-Trump-eight-companies-Saudi-Arabia-US-election-campaign]
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*4/19/17: [[Trump_Administration#Ivanka_Trump|Ivanka Trump's]] business has been doing better than ever since Trump took office. Business ties to China in particular have increased. She also registered three new trademarks in China that give the Chinese government new rights to sell her brand.[https://apnews.com/d9e34f23a64947d99e4a7d757012c509]
*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 Cuts for the Wealthy|tax code]] to eliminate this deduction, but Trump's tax plan would maintain the deduction and thus the benefits for his companies.[https://www.wsj.com/articles/trumps-tax-plan-could-preserve-millions-in-savings-for-his-businesses-1485691210]
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*4/1/17: [[Trump_Administration#Ivanka_Trump|Ivanka Trump]] and her husband [[Trump_Administration#Senior_Adviser_Jared_Kushner|Jared Kushner]], who are both senior White House employees, benefit financially from the Trump family's real estate business and investments, which are worth more than $700 million. It is illegal for them to take government action that would benefit them financially, but Ivanka Trump's stake in the Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC, and Kushner's real estate dealings with China may already be conflicts of interest.[https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/01/us/politics/ivanka-trump-jared-kushner-conflicts-business-empire.html?_r=0]
*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.[https://www.publicintegrity.org/2017/01/31/20651/donald-trumps-inauguration-fueled-tobacco-oil-and-drug-company-money?utm_content=buffer9dab9&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer]
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*3/29/17: Donald Trump has named his daughter, Ivanka, Special Assistant to the President. She will become an unpaid government employee with a security clearance. As an official White House employee, she will also have to disclose her finances and any potential conflicts of interest. However, she has still not removed herself from her business.[http://www.vox.com/2017/3/22/15005508/ivanka-trump-white-house-nepotism] This also probably violates nepotism laws (laws that prevent giving family members positions that they are not qualified for).
*Trumps wife, Melania, admitted that she hoped to cash in on being First Lady by selling clothes and fragrances.[http://www.rawstory.com/2017/02/melania-trumps-lawyers-admit-she-hoped-to-cash-in-on-being-first-lady-by-selling-clothes-and-fragrances/]
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*3/13/17: Jared Kushner's family will get $400 million from a major Chinese company that is investing in the Kushners’ Manhattan office tower.[https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-03-13/kushners-set-to-get-400-million-from-chinese-on-marquee-tower]
*Trump blasted Nordstrom for no longer carrying his daughter [[Trump_Appointments_and_Influencers#Ivanka_Trump|Ivanka's]] brand. He said she was being treated unfairly. Nordstrom's stock temporarily dipped, but later rebounded.[https://twitter.com/realdonaldtrump/status/829356871848951809]
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*3/9/17: Eric Trump, who oversees Trump Golf Courses, said in a press conference: “I think our brand is the hottest it has ever been.” The golf courses have gotten a publicity boost from Trump's presidency.[https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/09/us/politics/trump-golf-courses.html]
*Donald Trump's son Eric visited a decades-old, failed real estate project in the Dominican Republic. There is talk that the project might be revived. This goes against the President's pledge that his company would not launch new foreign deals while he is in office.[https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2017/02/09/the-trump-organization-may-revive-its-failed-dominican-resort-project/]
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*3/8/17: [[Trump_Administration#Ivanka_Trump|Ivanka Trump]] and [[Trump_Administration#Senior_Adviser_Jared_Kushner|Jared Kushner]] are renting their house in DC from a Chilean billionaire whose company is suing the US government over a mine.[https://www.wsj.com/articles/ivanka-trumps-landlord-is-a-chilean-billionaire-suing-the-u-s-government-1489000307]
*The family of Jared Kushner (son-in-law of, and Senior Advisor to Trump), is set to receive $400 million from a prominent Chinese company (Anbang Insurance Company) that is investing in the Kushners’ marquee Manhattan office tower at 666 Fifth Ave.[https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-03-13/kushners-set-to-get-400-million-from-chinese-on-marquee-tower]
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*2/9/17: Donald Trump's son Eric visited a Trump Organization's old failed real estate project in the Dominican Republic. There is talk that the project might be revived. This goes against the President's pledge that his company would not launch new foreign deals while he is in office.[https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2017/02/09/the-trump-organization-may-revive-its-failed-dominican-resort-project/]
*Mexico OKs new Trump trademarks for hotels and tourism. Trademark papers were filed on February 19, 2016, while Trump was campaigning against jobs moving to Mexico. One trademark was approved October 6 2016, three were approved February 21,2017.[http://www.therepublic.com/2017/03/12/lt-mexico-trump-trademarks/]
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*2/8/17: Trump blasted Nordstrom for no longer carrying his daughter [[Trump_Administration#Ivanka_Trump|Ivanka's]] brand. He said she was being treated unfairly. Nordstrom's stock temporarily dipped, but later rebounded.[https://twitter.com/realdonaldtrump/status/829356871848951809]
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*1/31/17:Several large corporations that would benefit from Trump's policies contributed to Trump's inaugural committee. This got them access to inaugural events. These corporations include Pfizer, Dow Chemical, Microsoft, Exxon, Amgen, Altria, GM, and Verizon.[https://www.publicintegrity.org/2017/01/31/20651/donald-trumps-inauguration-fueled-tobacco-oil-and-drug-company-money]
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*1/9/17: Donald Trump has named his son-in-law, [[Trump_Administration#Jared_Kushner|Jared Kushner]], to the position of senior adviser, which most experts say violates anti-nepotism laws (laws that prevent giving family members positions that they are not qualified for).[https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/09/us/jared-kushner-senior-adviser-white-house-trump.html] The Justice Department says it is not a violation.[http://www.politico.com/story/2017/01/justice-department-blesses-white-house-post-for-kushner-233968][http://www.politico.com/story/2017/01/justice-department-blesses-white-house-post-for-kushner-233968]
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*The companies in the Trump Organization save millions of dollars on taxes because they can deduct interest paid on debts from their [[Benefits_/_Tax_Cuts#Tax_Cuts_for_Businesses|taxable income]]. Congressional Republicans have considering changing this rule, but Trump's tax plan would maintain it, benefiting his company.[https://www.wsj.com/articles/trumps-tax-plan-could-preserve-millions-in-savings-for-his-businesses-1485691210]
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*8/2015: Donald Trump registered eight new companies in Saudi Arabia soon after announcing that he would be running for president.[http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/736569/Donald-Trump-eight-companies-Saudi-Arabia-US-election-campaign]
  
 
==Lawsuits==
 
==Lawsuits==
*3/9/2017: A local restaurant in Washington, D.C. is filing a lawsuit against the Trump International Hotel alleging unfair competition. The defendants are Trump and the Trump Old Post Office, LLC, which operates the hotel. [http://www.press.org/events/press-conference-announce-filing-lawsuit-against-donald-j-trump-and-trump-old-post-office-llc]
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*6/8/17: Representative Jerry Nadler (D-[[New York|NY]]) said that House and Senate Democrats plan to sue Trump because his businesses are profiting from foreign governments.[http://www.politico.com/story/2017/06/07/democrats-donald-trump-sue-conflict-of-interest-239262].
*1/23/2017: Lawyers have filed a [http://s3.amazonaws.com/storage.citizensforethics.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/23140054/CREW-DJT-Final.pdf lawsuit] alleging that Trump is violating the Constitution by allowing his hotels and other business operations to continue accepting payments from foreign governments. The suit, which will not be requesting any monetary damages, will request that federal court order Trump to stop accepting such payments.[https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/22/us/politics/trump-foreign-payments-constitution-lawsuit.html?smid=tw-share][https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2017/01/26/trump-is-getting-payments-from-foreign-governments-we-have-no-idea-what-they-are/?tid=a_inl&utm_term=.ae48d97c532e]
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*4/18/17: A legal group expanded a federal lawsuit that accused Trump of violating the Constitution by continuing to own and profit from his business empire.[https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/18/us/politics/trump-crew-lawsuit-constitution.html?smid=tw-share]
 +
*3/9/17: A local restaurant in Washington, DC, is suing the Trump International Hotel over "unfair competition."[http://www.press.org/events/press-conference-announce-filing-lawsuit-against-donald-j-trump-and-trump-old-post-office-llc]
 +
*1/23/17: Lawyers have filed a [http://s3.amazonaws.com/storage.citizensforethics.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/23140054/CREW-DJT-Final.pdf lawsuit] saying that Trump is violating the Constitution by allowing his hotels and other businesses to continue taking money from foreign governments. The suit will ask the federal court to order Trump to stop accepting these payments.[https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/22/us/politics/trump-foreign-payments-constitution-lawsuit.html?smid=tw-share][https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2017/01/26/trump-is-getting-payments-from-foreign-governments-we-have-no-idea-what-they-are/?tid=a_inl&utm_term=.ae48d97c532e]
  
 
== Resources ==
 
== Resources ==
[https://web.stanford.edu/~ldiamond/papers/Horiz_Acct.pdf Building a System of Comprehensive Accountability to Control Corruption] By Larry Diamond
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[https://web.stanford.edu/~ldiamond/papers/Horiz_Acct.pdf Building a System of Comprehensive Accountability to Control Corruption] by Larry Diamond

Latest revision as of 13:06, 4 July 2017

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.

How You Can Resist[edit]

Using the Presidency for Personal Gain[edit]

Laws[edit]

A US law states that public employees cannot use their positions for personal gain or to benefit their friends or relatives:

§ 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.

Trump and Governmental Conflicts[edit]

  • 6/5/17: The Trump International Hotel in DC received over $270,000 from Saudi lobbyists. The lobbyists oppose the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, which allows US citizens to sue foreign governments that they think are sponsors of terror.[3]
  • 5/24/17: The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform has asked for a hearing with the Trump Organization about its profits from foreign governments. The Constitution requires the president to get Congress's permission to accept money from foreign governments.[4]
  • 5/3/17: The Department of Defense is planning to rent an apartment in Trump Tower. It is unclear whether Trump would financially benefit from this.[5]
  • 4/4/17: Donald Trump's attorney confirmed that President Trump can withdraw money from his organizations—which are in a "trust," meaning he is supposedly no longer in charge—at any time. Trump has been able to withdraw money since he took office.[6]
  • 3/24/17: After promising not to talk about business with his father, Eric Trump say he'll still give him financial reports from the Trump businesses.[7]
  • 3/6/17: Trump's new version of his Muslim Ban still does not ban immigrants from countries that the Trump Organization does business in.[8]
  • 3/4/17: Donald Trump’s sons, Eric and Donald Jr., are overseeing an expansion of the family business. This includes a new hotel chain and expansion to new cities.[9]
  • 2/9/17: Trump invited the Japanese prime minister to stay (and play golf) at his Mar-A-Lago resort in Florida. There are two problems with this: 1) By hosting foreign leaders at his resort, Trump is receiving money from a foreign government; and 2) If Trump is putting the Prime Minister up for free, he is donating money to a foreign government.[10]
  • 2/9/17: During an appearance on Fox & Friends, Kellyanne Conway encouraged viewers to buy Ivanka Trump merchandise, saying that she was giving it a free commercial. This is in direct violation of the US law "Use of public office for private gain."[11] In response to this, the House Oversight Committee sent a letter to the Office of Government Ethics asking for a review of potential ethics violations.[12]
  • 2/9/17: A lobbying firm working for Saudi Arabia paid for a room at Donald Trump’s Washington hotel after Inauguration Day. This is the first payment by a foreign government to a Trump property since he became president, and violates the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution.[13]
  • 2/3/17: Eric Trump's business trip cost taxpayers $97,830 in hotel bills for the Secret Service.[14]
  • 1/27/17: Trump signed an executive order that would suspend all entry to the US from seven Muslim-majority countries in the Middle East. His list doesn’t include Muslim-majority countries where his Trump Organization has done or tried to do business.[15]
  • 1/25/17: Donald Trump's hotel chain plans to triple its US presence, contradicting a promise the president made in December that his organization wouldn't make any new deals while he was in office.[16]
  • 1/24/17: President Trump issued a memo giving the go-ahead to the Dakota Access Pipeline. The pipeline is owned by Energy Transfer Partners, in which Trump used to hold shares worth between $500,000 and $1,000,000.[17] His spokeswoman said he sold the stock in summer 2016.[18][19]
  • 1/23/17: Trump leases the Old Post Office Pavilion in DC for one of his hotels. The fact that Trump now holds public office breaks the terms of the lease and is a conflict of interest.[20]
  • 1/10/17: *The Federal Election Commission has asked Donald Trump for clarification about 50 campaign donations, out of concern that they may have been illegal.[21]

Trump Family's Potential Conflicts of Interest[edit]

  • 5/21/17: On the same weekend that Jared Kushner negotiated a $110 billion arms deal with the Saudis, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates donated $100 million to Kushner’s wife Ivanka Trump’s new “women’s fund.”[22]
  • 5/6/17: The Kushner family told Chinese investors that if they invested $500,000 in New Jersey real estate, they would get an “investor’s visa” and be allowed to immigrate to the United States.[23]
  • 5/4/17: @GenderAtState, the account run by the State Department’s Office of Global Women’s Issues, retweeted Ivanka Trump’s post promoting her new book.[24]
  • 5/3/17: It was found that Jared Kushner did not mention a real-estate start-up called Cadre or his ties to Goldman Sachs in his government financial disclosures/ Senior government officials are required to disclose all business interests before taking office.[25].
  • 4/26/17: Public pension funds in seven states invest in a fund that owns a New York hotel that one of Trump's companies manages. This could violate a Constitutional clause that says that the president cannot personally make money from states.[26]
  • 4/19/17: Ivanka Trump's business has been doing better than ever since Trump took office. Business ties to China in particular have increased. She also registered three new trademarks in China that give the Chinese government new rights to sell her brand.[27]
  • 4/1/17: Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner, who are both senior White House employees, benefit financially from the Trump family's real estate business and investments, which are worth more than $700 million. It is illegal for them to take government action that would benefit them financially, but Ivanka Trump's stake in the Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC, and Kushner's real estate dealings with China may already be conflicts of interest.[28]
  • 3/29/17: Donald Trump has named his daughter, Ivanka, Special Assistant to the President. She will become an unpaid government employee with a security clearance. As an official White House employee, she will also have to disclose her finances and any potential conflicts of interest. However, she has still not removed herself from her business.[29] This also probably violates nepotism laws (laws that prevent giving family members positions that they are not qualified for).
  • 3/13/17: Jared Kushner's family will get $400 million from a major Chinese company that is investing in the Kushners’ Manhattan office tower.[30]
  • 3/9/17: Eric Trump, who oversees Trump Golf Courses, said in a press conference: “I think our brand is the hottest it has ever been.” The golf courses have gotten a publicity boost from Trump's presidency.[31]
  • 3/8/17: Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner are renting their house in DC from a Chilean billionaire whose company is suing the US government over a mine.[32]
  • 2/9/17: Donald Trump's son Eric visited a Trump Organization's old failed real estate project in the Dominican Republic. There is talk that the project might be revived. This goes against the President's pledge that his company would not launch new foreign deals while he is in office.[33]
  • 2/8/17: Trump blasted Nordstrom for no longer carrying his daughter Ivanka's brand. He said she was being treated unfairly. Nordstrom's stock temporarily dipped, but later rebounded.[34]
  • 1/31/17:Several large corporations that would benefit from Trump's policies contributed to Trump's inaugural committee. This got them access to inaugural events. These corporations include Pfizer, Dow Chemical, Microsoft, Exxon, Amgen, Altria, GM, and Verizon.[35]
  • 1/9/17: Donald Trump has named his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, to the position of senior adviser, which most experts say violates anti-nepotism laws (laws that prevent giving family members positions that they are not qualified for).[36] The Justice Department says it is not a violation.[37][38]
  • The companies in the Trump Organization save millions of dollars on taxes because they can deduct interest paid on debts from their taxable income. Congressional Republicans have considering changing this rule, but Trump's tax plan would maintain it, benefiting his company.[39]
  • 8/2015: Donald Trump registered eight new companies in Saudi Arabia soon after announcing that he would be running for president.[40]

Lawsuits[edit]

  • 6/8/17: Representative Jerry Nadler (D-NY) said that House and Senate Democrats plan to sue Trump because his businesses are profiting from foreign governments.[41].
  • 4/18/17: A legal group expanded a federal lawsuit that accused Trump of violating the Constitution by continuing to own and profit from his business empire.[42]
  • 3/9/17: A local restaurant in Washington, DC, is suing the Trump International Hotel over "unfair competition."[43]
  • 1/23/17: Lawyers have filed a lawsuit saying that Trump is violating the Constitution by allowing his hotels and other businesses to continue taking money from foreign governments. The suit will ask the federal court to order Trump to stop accepting these payments.[44][45]

Resources[edit]

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