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Rep. Katherine Clark (D-MA) Introduces Legislation To Stop Trump From Profiting Off The Presidency

Rep. Clark took the first step in cutting off Trump's conflict of interest shenanigans, finally.
Rep. Katherine Clark (D-MA) Introduces Legislation To Stop Trump From Profiting Off The Presidency

Trump is a grifter. A con man. A snake oil salesman.

He preyed on people's fears, fed them lies about how he alone could 'Make America Great Again,' about how the Clinton dynasty was all about pay-for-play and would be the most crooked administration ever.

Well, it looks like he was just talking about his own plans. See, Donnie has no intention of letting go of his businesses. He says he will have a "blind trust" but in actuality, plans to let his kids run the company while also having them work closely with him while he serves as (gack) President. He even went so far as to have his daughter sit in on a meeting just the other day with the Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan.

Conflict of interest, table for 1.

The government, now firmly in the slimy grasp of the GOP in all three branches, doesn't seem to care about this giant Ponzi scheme about to be unleashed on the American People in less than two months. They only see tax breaks, earmarks, special interests and their own personal bank accounts growing while the rest of us will only be hit with tax cuts, increased costs for goods and continued degradation of our quality of lives.

To put it simply, Donald Trump has allowed the Office of the President to be put on the market for sale. He has failed at casinos, steaks, water and a litany of other products, but the United States is something that he absolutely can sell. And sell it, he will.

Katherine Clark, a Democratic representative from Massachusetts is not having any of it and this past week introduced legislation specifically crafted to put giant road blocks in front of Donald Trump and his carnival of sycophants and family members.

Here is her tweet:

Clark released the following press release on November 17th:

"Washington, D.C. -- Congresswoman Katherine Clark has introduced legislation to ensure that U.S. Presidents are required to resolve any conflicts of interest with regard to financial interests and official responsibilities. Current law prohibits federal office holders from engaging in government business when they stand to gain profit. The President and Vice President are currently exempt from this statute. Clark’s Presidential Accountability Act removes this exemption and requires the President and Vice President to place their assets in a certified blind trust or disclose to the Office of Government Ethics and the public when they make a decision that affects their personal finances. This issue has been elevated to greater importance as concerns of conflicts of interest have surfaced in the first week of the President-elect’s transition period. From the Trump Organization’s federal contract to operate the President-elect’s hotel in the Old Post Office Pavilion in Washington, D.C. to the scale of his debt to foreign banks, the President-elect’s business interests present an unprecedented level of conflict. Trump has also appointed his children to serve in leadership positions on both the President-elect’s transition team and his businesses. Clark’s Presidential Accountability Act prohibits the President from engaging in government responsibilities from which they or their families can benefit financially.

“The President of the United States has the power to affect how our tax dollars are spent, who the federal government does business with, and the integrity of America’s standing in a global economy,” said Clark. “Every recent president in modern history has taken steps to ensure his financial interests do not conflict with the needs of the American people. The American people need to be able to trust that the President’s decisions are based on the best interests of families at home, and not the President’s financial interests.”

Previous American presidents including Lyndon Johnson, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama have all used some form of blind trust or placed their assets in an investment vehicle over which they had no control."

The bill, H.R. 6340, says the following:

Prohibits the following individuals from working in both a business AND the White House:

"the President or Vice President of the United States, their spouse, child, general partner, organization in which they are serving as officer, director, trustee, general partner or employee, or any person or organization with whom they are negotiating or has any arrangement concerning prospective employment, has a financial interest shall be subject to the penalties set forth in section 216 of this title."

Oh, and what is the penalty she speaks of?

"A violation of subsection (a) shall constitute a high crime and misdemeanor for the purposes of Article II, Section 4 of the United States Constitution."

It also requires that the "blind trust" is run by one of the following ONLY:

“(A) The trustee of the trust and any other entity designated in the trust instrument to perform fiduciary duties is a financial institution, an attorney, a certified public accountant, a broker, or an investment advisor who-

(i) is independent of and not associated with any interested party so that the trustee or other person cannot be controlled or influenced in the administration of the trust by any interested party;

(ii) is not and has not been an employee of or affiliated with any interested party and is not a partner of, or involved in any joint venture or other investment with, any interested party; and

(iii) is not a relative of any interested party.

(B) Any officer or employee of a trustee or other entity who is involved in the management or control of the trust-

(i) is independent of and not associated with any interested party so that such officer or employee cannot be controlled or influenced in the administration of the trust by any interested party;

(ii) is not a partner of, or involved in any joint venture or other investment with, any interested party"

So that rules out all of Trumps kids, all three current and former wives, spouses of his kids, former employees, staff of the White House, etc.

Oh, and all communications with former staff and executives must be in writing.

This should cover most of the loopholes. Now let's see if it gets passed. You know, the GOP only likes to prevent pay for play for Democrats. Trump may get a pass. But this is solid legislation and a good first step and trying to remove the price tag from the White House before Trump even unpacks his gold plated toilet seats.

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