Correspondence From Senator Crapo

Following the Resist Trump Tuesday event, Senator Crapo responded with the following letter:

March 2, 2017
 
Dear X:
 
Thank you for contacting me regarding concerns that President Donald Trump’s business activities present conflicts of interest with his official duties as president. I share your support for transparent government and welcome the opportunity to respond.
 
In the days following the election, President Trump’s business dealings have drawn widespread attention in the media. The Constitution specifically bars the President from accepting foreign favors, stating:
 
No Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State. (Article I, Section 9)
 
Apart from this provision in the Constitution, Presidents and Vice Presidents are exempt from the conflict of interest regulations that affect other federal officials and employees. Consequently, there are no other legal statutes restricting Presidents’ business dealings or requiring them to relinquish assets because of conflicts of interest. However, Presidents have traditionally taken a variety of steps to avoid the appearance of conflicts of interest, including publicly disclosing their interests and divesting their assets.
 
Various pieces of legislation have been proposed to apply the ethics laws and penalties governing other executive officials to the President and Vice President. These measures are pending review in their respective committees of jurisdiction.
 
On January 11, 2017, then President-elect Trump announced a financial agreement to address potential conflicts of interest between his presidential duties and the Trump Organization. The agreement consolidates the Trump Organization holdings into a single trust administered by the President’s sons and a longtime Trump executive, Allen Weisselberg, who will make decisions independent of President Trump. The agreement also assigns an ethics advisor to the Trump Organization’s management team, who will review and vet new business deals to ensure they do not present conflicts of interest. Additionally, the Trump Organization will release financial reports and transfer profits from foreign-government payments to the U.S. Treasury.
 
For further information, you may also be interested in reading the following report by the Congressional Research Service, which explains the laws and precedent governing conflicts of interest and the presidency:
 
 
I commend your interest and engagement in government affairs. Government awareness and accountability are important aspects of a healthy and vibrant democracy. I will consider and review the President’s actions in a manner consistent with the interests and needs of Idahoans and the American people.
 
Again, thank you for contacting me. Please feel free to contact me in the future on this or other matters of interest to you. For more information about the issues before the U.S. Senate as well as news releases, photos, and other items of interest, please visit my Senate website, http://crapo.senate.gov.
 
Sincerely,
US SenatorSenator Mike Crapo
Mike Crapo
United States Senator
 
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