Liz Warren Introduced a Bill That Could Lead to Trump's Impeachment
The President Conflict of Interest Act would require the president and vice president, their spouses and any minor or dependent children to divest all personal financial holdings that could create a conflict of interest, and to place the resulting assets into a blind trust governed by an independent trustee.
The bill would also formally implement the Constitution’s Emoluments Clause, which bans government officials from receiving gifts or payments from foreign governments, by declaring the violation of financial conflict-of-interest laws and provisions by the president to be considered a high crime or misdemeanor punishable by impeachment.
After stating during his presidential campaign that he would have nothing to do with his business if elected, Trump has met with his foreign business partners, touted them to foreign leaders and appointed his adult children to the executive committee of his presidential transition despite plans for them to assume control of the Trump Organization. His hotel in Washington, D.C., pitched foreign governments on booking hotel rooms to curry favor with the Trump administration.
“The American people deserve to know that the President of the United States is working to do what’s best for the country ― not using his office to do what’s best for himself and his businesses,” Warren said in a statement.
The bill, which has 23 additional Democratic co-sponsors, would also require presidential appointees to recuse themselves from any decisions that relate to the president’s financial holdings, and would require the president to disclose his tax returns. House Democrats led by Rep. Katherine Clark (D-Mass.) introduced identical legislation.
The push for divestment stems from the fact that current ethics laws do not apply the rules for resolving conflicts of interest to the president or the vice president. Presidential appointees are required to disentangle themselves from financial arrangements that their work as a public servant could conflict with. In these cases, true blind trusts governed by independent trustees are required.
While the president is not bound by this law, past presidents have acted as though the conflict-of-interest statutes applied to them by separating themselves from any financial holdings that might have caused a conflict. During his single term in office, President Jimmy Carter placed stewardship of his peanut farm in the hands of an independent trustee. Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush all placed their holdings into true blind trusts.
“Every recent president in modern history has taken steps to ensure his financial interests do not conflict with the needs of the American people,” Clark said in a statement. “The American people need to be able to trust that the President’s decisions are based on the best interests of families at home, and not the President’s financial interests.”
However, the bill, since it's creation, has largely been stalled by Republicans. It might be speculative to say that the bill is a long-term investment for Democrats-who have very little chance of impeaching Trump while Republicans control Congress. However, in 2018 if things have changed this bill may be fast-tracked, and if passed, could lead to very bad things for President Trump.
Below is a picture of the bill introduced during 2017: