Excerpt from: CREDO action
Donald Trump is a lifelong scam artist who has used his fame to swindle people out of their hard-earned money. Now, he appears to be planning to use the presidency of the United States to line his own pocket – putting all of us at risk.
No one knows the full extent of Trump’s foreign financial and business entanglements because of his unprecedented secrecy and refusal to release his tax returns. Government ethics experts have already said Trump is poised to violate the Constitution by personally profiting from the presidency. On top of it all, we still do not know whether he is indebted to foreign interests that would give them influence over the commander in chief.1,2,3
For years, House Republicans spent millions investigating Sec. Hillary Clinton in what one Republican leader later admitted was an attempt to score partisan points.4 Now, Rep. Elijah Cummings is calling on the Republican chair of the House Oversight Committee to investigate the real, dangerous and growing potential corruption of a Trump presidency.
Trump’s massive web of potential corruption is on a never-before-seen scale. Past presidents have sold assets and placed money and investments in blind trusts. Trump, by contrast, claims to be handing over his businesses to his children. But in the days since the election, he has continued pushing his own financial interests. Because he is still hiding the full extent of his business entanglements, we have no way of knowing if he is under the thumb of foreign interests, whether his business interests in the Middle East or other countries run counter to American foreign policy or whether he is merely using the presidency to enrich himself.5,6
Here are the examples of potential corruption that have emerged just since Nov. 8:7,8,9
- Trump’s children have a role in the presidential transition, despite claims that they will take over the Trump business from their father.
- Ivanka Trump attended a meeting with the Japanese prime minister and reportedly joined a phone call between her father and the president of Argentina.
- A long-stalled Trump project in Argentina mysteriously got the green light to move forward days after that phone call.
- Trump reportedly used his meeting with British politicians to push them to block offshore wind farms that he believes will sully the view from his Scotland golf courses.
- Indian real estate developers bragged about meeting with Trump post-election and expanding their work with him now that he has the power of the presidency.
- Trump paid $25 million to settle charges that he defrauded students of Trump University.
- News broke that immediately before the election Trump launched eight mysterious companies to build luxury real estate projects in Saudi Arabia.
- Foreign diplomats told The Washington Post that they would deliberately book rooms at Trump’s Washington, D.C. hotel in order to curry favor with the president
- Government ethics experts who served under Republican and Democratic presidents have agreed that Trump’s potential conflicts of interest might be unconstitutional
- The U.S. Secret Service might pay millions of dollars to rent two floors in Trump Tower to protect him and his family, with Trump pocketing the proceeds.
- Trump praised his Turkish business partner, who had butted heads with Turkey’s government, in a phone call with autocratic Turkish President Erdogan.
Jason Chaffetz, the Republican chair of the House Oversight Committee, is no diehard Trump fan and once refused to endorse or defend him.8 After spending untold hours investigating Clinton’s non-scandals, he owes it to the American public to investigate naked conflicts of interest emerging in the Trump administration. We need to help Rep. Cummings build the public pressure on Chaffetz to investigate potential conflicts of interest or outright corruption.
The greatest threat from Trump will continue to be persecution and the climate of hate directed at Muslims, the undocumented, people of color, immigrants, and women. It is becoming even clearer that Trump’s strategy is to divide the American people and scapegoat these groups while enriching himself and his Wall Street friends. A true progressive response to the Trump regime will unconditionally resist his bigoted and racist policies while exposing the way he serves the powerful and privileged.
Because the president is not subject to federal conflict-of-interest laws, the House Oversight Committee plays a crucial role in standing up to Trump.9 Progressive champions like Sen. Elizabeth Warren have called for investigation, and with Rep. Elijah Cummings is already showing what determined leadership looks like, we need to stand with him.
- Stand with Rep. Cummings: Investigate Trump’s massive web of potential corruption.
- Petition to House Oversight Committee Chair Jason Chaffetz:
“Immediately investigate President-elect Donald Trump’s financial arrangements to ensure he does not have any actual or perceived conflicts of interest and he and his advisors comply with all legal and regulatory ethical requirements when he assumes the presidency.”
- Sign the petition at: https://act.credoaction.com/sign/trump_cummings_corruption?t=7&akid=20617.7785905.BWOYFJ
Thank you for speaking out,
Murshed Zaheed, Political Director
CREDO Action from Working Assets
Rep. Elijah Cummings, “Cummings Calls on Chaffetz to Launch Inquiry into Trump’s So-Called ‘Blind Trust’,” Nov. 14, 2016.Jason Nesbit, “A Handy List of Donald Trump’s Biggest Conflicts of Interest,” TIME, Nov. 21, 2016.
Matthew Yglesias, “President Trump and the Trump Organization are the biggest conflict of interest in US history,” Vox.com, Nov. 14, 2016
Cummings, “Cummings Calls on Chaffetz to Launch Inquiry into Trump’s So-Called “Blind Trust.”
Yglesias, “President Trump and the Trump Organization are the biggest conflict of interest in US history.”
The Editorial Board, “Donald Trump’s Tangled Web,” The New York Times, Nov. 16, 2016.
Nesbit, “A Handy List of Donald Trump’s Biggest Conflicts of Interest.”
Max de Haldevang, “Days after Trump spoke to Argentina’s president his stalled Buenos Aires tower project picked up steam,” Quartz, Nov. 23, 2016.
Paul Blumenthal, “Trump Touted His Turkish Business Partner In A Call With President Erdogan,” Huffington Post, Nov. 23, 2016.
Pamela Brown et. all, “Secret Service considering renting a floor at Trump Tower to protect future first family,” CNN.com, Nov. 25, 2016.
Matthew Yglesias, “Top House Oversight Democrat asks for hearings on Trump’s conflicts of interest,” Vox.com, Nov. 14, 2016.
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