Thursday, January 12, 2017

The News Conference is Held!

Well butter my butt and call me a biscuit!*

I was sure that there would be no press conference prior to Donald taking office concerning his conflict of interest issues.  In fact, I said as much in a previous post.

I was wrong.  The promised news conference took place yesterday, January 11; a full 9 days prior to inauguration day.

So!  What wonderful new revelations are there from the president-elect concerning his business holdings?  Well... nothing new, actually.

He repeated what he had suggested previously that he will turn over management of his business to his sons, Eric and Don, Jr.  He also repeated that there will be no new international "deals" by his business during his presidency and that any domestic "deals" will be made with the advisement of an ethics adviser.

Critics were quick to say that this arrangement doesn't address all the issues.  From the NBC news article I linked above:
""This does not address the emoluments clause concerns, this does not address the conflict concerns. This is using the language of ethics without addressing the actual ethics concerns,"said Kathleen Clark, an ethics specialist at University of Washington law school."
Let's take a look at the emoluments clause Ms. Clark references. It can be found in the US Constitution (Article 1, Section 9, Clause 8) and states:
"No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince or foreign State."
Okay.  But what is an emolument?  Google tells me it is "a salary, fee, or profit from employment or office."

Clearly, if this clause applies to the President of the US, it would appear to be a potential issue for a businessman who owns real estate throughout the world.  But wait... Does it apply to the President?

This Huffington Post article presents the case that it does as it certainly has in the past but some of Donald's people have stated they don't believe it does.

Clearly, the entire situation would go away if Donald placed control of his business with an entity to act as a blind trust who would sell off his assets and invest the profits without his input.

Kellyanne Conway, Donald's campaign manager and soon to be Presidential counsel, has stated that she doesn't think it is fair to ask Donald to sell the business he spent so many years creating.  Thing is, that is what he should have expected he would have to do if he won the election.

It's a matter of priority.  Is his business more important than his position as President? If it is, then perhaps he shouldn't accept the position of President.  You really can't have your cake and eat it, too.

------

*I'm a Yankee but some situations call for a southern expression

Image By Michael Vadon [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons


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