Donald Trump was supposed to hold a press conference on Thursday, December 15, to discuss how he planned to separate himself from his extensive business holdings once he takes the oath of office. As President of the United States, there could be endless conflicts of interest if Trump doesn’t figure out a way to assure Americans, Congress, and the courts, that he is acting on behalf of the United States and not his own financial bottom line.
But a new report from Kurt Eichenwald of Newsweek suggests Trump has already stepped way over the line and could be facing impeachment soon after he takes office. As Eichenwald writes:
“The president-elect vowed during the campaign to eliminate potential conflicts by severing ties to his company — yet, with only weeks to go until he takes the oath of office, he hasn’t laid out a credible plan. Trump’s sole suggestion to date — a ‘blind trust’ run by his children — would not eliminate the conflicts, given that the money generated would still go to his family. Moreover, such a trust would be anything but blind.”
Eichenwald then lays out an example involving Trump and Rodrigo Duterte, president of the Philippines.
On December 2, Trump had a phone call with Duterte, a murderous tyrant who has ordered the extrajudicial killing of at least 4,500 suspected drug dealers in the Philippines. Trump praised Duterte, despite the fact that the international community has widely condemned the use of vigilante justice of this kind. Why did Trump heap praise on a murderous thug like Duterte? Eichenwald explains:
“The Trump family has an enormous financial interest in keeping Duterte happy. Trump Tower at Century City in Makati, Philippines, is on the verge of completion, with potential buyers having placed deposits on at least 94 percent of the condominiums, according to Century Properties, the Trump Organization’s business partner there.”
But there’s more: Trump’s business partner in the real estate deal is Century Properties, and Jose E.B. Antonio, the head of Century Properties, was recently named by Duterte as the special government envoy to the U.S. — which means Trump can now discuss business with the person who is also conducting foreign policy on behalf of Duterte. That is one hell of a conflict of interest! Once again Eichenwald correctly notes:
“The man writing millions of dollars’ worth of checks to the Trump family is the Duterte government’s special representative to the United States. To argue that these payments will be constitutional if they are paid to the Trump children, and not to Trump personally, is absurd. This conflict demands congressional hearings, and could be an impeachable offense.”
From Day One of the Trump Administration, there will be impeachable offenses galore based solely on the Emoluments Clause. The question is whether or not the Republicans in Congress have the political balls to obey the United States Constitution and get rid of this con man and human leech.
This article was originally published by the same author at LiberalAmerica.org