Presidential Ethics Counsel: How Can Trump Regulate Financial Sector When He Owes Millions To Banks?

Two former ethics counsels for Presidents Barack Obama and George Bush told ABC's This Week that Donald Trump the presidency isn't a part time job and he has massive conflicts of interest if he continues to own his businesses.

Richard Painter, Professor at University of Minnesota Law School and George W. Bush's former ethics counsel told George Stephanopoulos, "He owes hundreds of millions of dollars to banks. How do we expect the Trump administration to regulate the financial services sector?"

Painter even made a funny. He said, "I think Billy Bush is looking for a job. Maybe he could take over "The Apprentice."

President Obama's ethics counsel Norm Eisen said, "Trump must divest, George, because of his web of domestic and international business relationships that create a conflict of interest for him."

Stephanopoulos said that the law doesn't strictly prohibit his business interests.

Eisen replied, "George, the Constitution has something called the Emoluments Clause. That's just a fancy, 18th century word for no foreign government payments. And Donald Trump is collecting foreign government payments and other benefits throughout his business."

He continued, "It is a direct violation of the Constitution and unless he divests, not just operations, he must divest from all business interests or he will be in violation of the Constitution from day one."

The ABC host said it appears that only Congress can address this issue.

Eisen stated, "He's also subject to other conflicts laws, George. The bribery laws are intended to prevent conflicts, for example. He's subject to criminal law. He's subject to civil law. He's going to be subject to litigation. He's already in a lot of cases. This is going to come up in existing litigation and there's going to be new litigation."

And here's a point that I haven't heard anyone mention yet: "People are studying whether there's a cause of action that competitors, for example, would have if they're harmed by these foreign government payments."

Painter then said, "He owes hundreds of millions of dollars to banks. How do we expect the Trump administration to regulate the financial services sector? Are we going to have another bubble where real estate prices go up, along with bank stocks for a while, until there's a crash, and everybody suffers because of it?"


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He continued, "He needs to focus on being president. The president is not an inn keeper. He is not a celebrity talk show host or reality star host. Let somebody else do those jobs. I think Billy Bush is looking for a job. Maybe he could take over "The Apprentice."

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