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Center for American Progress

STATEMENT: President-Elect Trump Must Place Business Assets Into Genuine Blind Trust, Urges Letter Signed by CAP
Press Statement

STATEMENT: President-Elect Trump Must Place Business Assets Into Genuine Blind Trust, Urges Letter Signed by CAP

Washington, D.C. — Today, the Center for American Progress joined more than a dozen organizations and prominent individuals who signed a letter to President-elect Donald Trump urging him to place all of his business assets and investments into a genuine blind trust or convert the Trump Organization businesses to cash and buy treasury bills and widely diversified mutual funds—holdings that are deemed conflict free under federal law. Additionally, the letter details the need for effective firewalls to ensure that family members who remain involved in any Trump Organization businesses have no involvement or communication with the White House about policy decisions. Liz Kennedy, Director of Democracy and Government Reform at CAP, issued the following statement on the topic:

If President-elect Donald Trump fails to establish a genuine blind trust, as defined by federal law, and effective firewalls, serious and unprecedented conflicts of interest will embroil his presidency, casting a cloud of doubt around the legitimacy of decisions and actions taken by the executive branch. As stated in this letter, the nature and diversity of the Trump Organization businesses mean that a wide range of government policies directly affect them, including domestic tax policy, government contractors, consumer protection, the functioning of the civil justice system, financial regulation, labor rights, workplace safety and health standards, and bankruptcy law. Foreign policy questions are also implicated, including constitutional prohibitions against accepting gifts from foreign governments, which could rise to the level of an impeachable offense.

President-elect Trump must put the interests of the American people and the legal, ethical, and constitutional obligations that come with the presidency above his personal ownership stake in the Trump Organization. The nation deserves a transparent, functional democracy that works for and on behalf of all its citizens, not a select group of elite individuals and corporations.

Read the letter in its entirety here.

For more information on this topic or to speak to an expert, please contact Tanya Arditi at tarditi@americanprogress.org.