December 13, 2016

After Trump Delays Announcement on Business Plans, Senate Democrats Call on President-elect to Divest Holdings

In new letter, 23 senators urge President-elect Trump to follow advice of Office of Government Ethics and allow independent party to control assets

Text of letter available here (PDF)

Washington, DC - Today, U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), top Democrat on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, along with 22 Democratic senators, sent a letter urging President-elect Donald J. Trump to follow the advice of the Office of Government Ethics (OGE), an independent, nonpartisan ethics agency, and divest his business holdings in order to resolve potential conflicts of interest and deal with constitutional requirements before he assumes office. 

"As a businessman with interests in the United States and around the world, your holdings have the potential for serious conflicts between the national interest and your personal financial interests," the lawmakers wrote.

They continued, "Whether the President of the United States makes decisions about potential trade agreements or sending troops into war, the American people need to know that the President is acting in their best interest. Divestiture of your businesses and the establishment of a blind trust controlled by an independent party would provide assurances that you will put the interests of the American people first and are fully committed to the success of your presidency."

The letter was also signed by Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Michael Bennet (D-Co.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Patrick Leahy (Vt.), Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Tom Udall (D-N.M), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.).

The text of the letter is available here.