When Mr. Trump decided to cede operational control but not financial control of his businesses, the Office of Government Ethics described his move as “meaningless from a conflict of interest perspective.” In addition to Mr. Trump himself, members of the Trump family also appear to be benefitting directly and indirectly from the president’s public service. Indeed, Mr. Trump’s son, Eric Trump, recently claimed that the Trump “brand is the hottest it has ever been.”
American Oversight is calling for the U.S. government to turn off the spigot of public funds going to Trump businesses, cease using Trump properties and services, and issue guidance to all executive branch personnel that taxpayer dollars may not be spent at Trump properties or on purchases from businesses in which the First Family has a financial interest. If Mr. Trump and his family cannot be persuaded to stop accepting public funds for private gain, the government can ensure taxpayer funds are no longer available.
American Oversight is also asking for federal, Florida and New York State law enforcement officials and prosecutors to investigate whether domestic and foreign interests have used Trump properties, including the Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC, and the Trump National Doral as conduits to bribe the Trump administration to pursue favorable policies and award contracts.
It is important for the president’s actions to be investigated, catalogued and publicized. American Oversight will be doing its part to ensure the American people are aware of the extent to which Mr. Trump is using the presidency for his and his family’s personal financial benefit.