Zephyr Teachout (previously) isn't just an expert on antitrust law and corruption, and isn't merely a netroots pioneer who has been on the right side of every technology policy fight since the Gore years -- she's also running to be the Attorney General of the State of New York, from which position she plans on gutting Trump on his corrupt business practices, targeting him using the dread emoluments clause.
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“One year of Trump. One year of unprecedented conflicts of interest.”
In 2017, at least 4 foreign governments, 16 special interest groups and 35 Republican congressional campaign committees all spent money at Trump properties, data compiled by government watchdog group Public Citizen reveals. Read the rest
Remember the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution, the one that says that presidents aren't supposed to get gifts or payments from foreign governments without Congressional approval? Read the rest
The petition to "immediately release Donald Trump's full tax returns, with all information needed to verify emoluments clause compliance" has received more signatures (385,845 so far) than any other petition in the White House's We the People petition system's history.
From Huffington Post:
As of Thursday afternoon, the petition had over 368,000 signatures, surpassing the previous record of 367,180. The previous record-holder called for the United States government to “legally recognize the Westboro Baptist Church as a hate group.”
President Donald Trump spoke at the GOP Congressional retreat in Philadelphia on Thursday. He did not bring up his tax returns.
Trump has kept in place former President Barack Obama’s online petition system, which was created in 2011 to increase accessibility to government. The site also still states that a petition with at least 100,000 signatures will get an official response.
A spokesman for the White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the petition.
Spoiler alert! The response will be: "All the signatures were forged by someone sitting on their bed who weighs 400 pounds." Read the rest
Tom the Dancing Bug, IN WHICH the 1787 Constitutional Convention debate conclusively demonstrates why the Emoluments Clause was never intended to apply to Donald Trump!
Today President-Elect Trump took to Twitter in an attempt to assure the world he will not let it look like he is making money off the Presidency.
Via the New York Times:
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Noah Bookbinder, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics, a liberal nonprofit group that promotes ethics in government, said: “Unless his solution is to sell the business outside the family and put the proceeds in a blind trust, he’s not really doing anything to solve the problem. Just because you say something on Twitter doesn’t make it so.”
It remains unclear what the president-elect’s plan will look like, but simply removing Mr. Trump from operational, day-to-day control of business decisions still could allow him to benefit financially from payments made to his companies by foreign governments, which may be prohibited by the so-called emoluments clause of the Constitution, Mr. Eisen said.
And Mr. Trump’s Twitter posts said nothing about whether his children — who serve as advisers on his presidential transition committee — would continue to have roles in his administration.
If the business is run by his children, they must be entirely separated from government operations, Mr. Eisen and Mr. Painter said. That means they could not participate in meetings with world leaders, like the prime minister of Japan, as Ivanka Trump did this month.
“Without an ethics firewall that is set up at once and continues into the administration, scandal is sure to follow,” their statement said.
Aides to Mr. Trump did not immediately respond to requests for more detail.
As George W Bush taught us: "fool me twice, we don't get fooled again." Read the rest