I was very young when President Nixon resigned from office amid the Watergate scandal. As someone who follows history, I found many things fascinating & equally scary about that time in history. The scariest being Nixon’s unbelievable abuse of his powers, and fracturing of the Constitution. The events of yesterday, will now set off a firestorm that will haunt the President Elect for much of his tenure. Despite what Trump thinks his power is not absolute, he isn’t a monarchy. Trump can spew all he wants to, but there checks & balances, no matter what party controls The House & The Senate. A lesson the new President is going to find out the hard way.
Below are some thoughts from Robert Reich and an article from USA Today, discussing the rebuke from the ethics oversight office.
Yesterday, the federal government’s top ethics official joined a wave of ethics watchdogs denouncing President-elect Donald Trump’s plan to retain his financial interest in his global real-estate and branding empire, merely turning management over to his sons while he’s president.
“The plan the president has announced doesn’t meet the standards that the best of his nominees are meeting and that every president in the past four decades has met,” says Walter Shaub, the head of the Office of Government Ethics. He called Trump’s pledge to step away from management of his company “meaningless from a conflicts of interest perspective.”
Ethics experts had urged Trump to take two specific steps to avoid the appearance or existence of conflicts of interest: (1) divest himself of a sprawling business empire with outposts scattered across the world, and (2) create a blind trust managed by an independent trustee—standards adhered to by Presidents for decades.
Trump has chosen to do neither.
According to his most recent financial disclosures, filed in the spring of 2016, Trump appears to own or control more than 500 companies in some two dozen countries, including an array of nations who are key geopolitical actors – creating a significant possibility of running afoul of the U.S. Constitution’s ban on high officials receiving cash from foreign governments (Article I, Section 9).
Is the American public concerned? “No I don’t think so,” Trump said at his news conference today. “I won, when I became president. No, I don’t think they care at all.”
People, that’s the issue.