Trump's dealings and possible conflict of interest

The decisions of President Donald Trump have raised questions about his commercial interests
Photo: Germán Espinosa/EL UNIVERSAL
18/06/2017
03:23
Víctor Sancho / Corresponsal
Washington
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Although all his counselors, advisors and ethical experts suggested Donald Trump that it was best for him to sell all of his companies, stocks and business interests, the President decided not to do so.

He only transferred the management to his sons, Donald Jr. and Eric, 10 days before taking office. Trump's refusal generated controversy and legal doubts, for the President, indirectly, would continue to benefit from the profits of his business conglomerate.

Trump's critics saw a breach to attack him. Among Washington's vocabulary, the "Emoluments Clause" has become famous, a constitutional provision that, basically, ensures that there is no corruption within the government. If certified, the president would be violating the Constitution.

These "conflicts of interest" moved the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) organization, led by the ethics lawyers of George W. Bush and Barack Obama, to file a civil suit.

The clearest example regarding this conflict of interest is the events held at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, four blocks away from the White House and inaugurated during the election campaign. It is known that governments, like that of Saudi Arabia, have hired halls, leaving Trump thousands of dollars. Coincidentally, the first international trip was precisely to that country.

Another example is his exclusive club in Mar-a-Lago, the "Southern White House" where it is possible not only to meet the magnate but also some world leaders like Chinese President Xi Jiping.

Proving the relation between personal benefit and possible exchange of favors is complex; that is why in the last few days lawsuits have been multiplying so that a judge accepts a case and judges the President.

An important step was taken this week when two attorneys general, from Maryland and the District of Columbia, both Democrats, announced a joint action to know if the President has actually violated the constitutional clause and is "corruptible."

Plaintiffs expect a judge to accept at least one of the lawsuits and investigate whether there is any relationship between Businessman Trump and President Trump.

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