WASHINGTON – President-elect Trump should take immediate steps to eliminate his foreign financial conflicts of interest, according to a U.S. House resolution co-sponsored by Nashville’s congressman.
“The Constitution requires all U.S. presidents to be free from foreign influence and control,” U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper of Nashville said Thursday, Jan. 5. “No president is above the law.”
Donald Trump has an unprecedented number of foreign conflicts of interest, given his business ventures around the world and his assertion that the Emoluments Clause does not apply to him.
The Constitution states otherwise in Article I, Section 9, Clause 8: “no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under [the United States], 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.”
“I do not object to President-elect Trump’s business interests, but the Constitution requires him, while he is President, to work only for American taxpayers, no one else,” Rep. Cooper said. “He should take the necessary steps to comply with the Constitution he will be sworn to uphold.”
The House resolution was filed to ensure President-elect Trump’s compliance with the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution before he takes office Jan. 20. An identical resolution was filed in the Senate. The resolution expresses the sense of Congress that President-elect Trump should follow the precedent established by prior presidents and convert his assets to simple, conflict-free holdings, adopt blind trusts managed by independent trustees, or take other equivalent measures.
The resolution notes that, in the absence of such actions by President-elect Trump before he assumes office or without specific authorization by Congress, Congress will regard dealings by Trump-owned companies with any entity owned by a foreign governmental actor as potential violations of the Constitution’s Emoluments Clause.