U.S. Sen. Bob Casey announced on Monday that he’s backing a bill that would force Donald Trump to “remove all conflicts of interest.” The bill has 23 other co-sponsors.
“President-elect Trump’s conflicts of interests are unprecedented, and for the good of our nation he must divest himself from his businesses,” Casey said in a statement. “The American people deserve to know that their President is acting in their best interest and not for the benefit of his business interests. Unless President-elect Trump divests, the American people will have no way of knowing where the Trump Organization ends and the Trump Administration begins.”
Casey’s bill, called the Presidential Conflicts of Interest Act of 2017, would require the president, vice president, and “certain family members” to divest their financial holdings. The idea, per Casey, is to make sure the president and his allies’ financial holdings do not come before the interests of the United States.
The bill would use current conflict of interest standard applied to executive branch employees.
Trump has a slew of possible conflicts of interest stemming from his long career in real estate around the world. Trump has been defiant. “The law’s totally on my side,” Trump has said. “The president can’t have a conflict of interest.”
The Presidential Conflicts of Interest Act would also require that sitting presidents and presidential nominees release their tax returns to the public. It would also ban presidential appointees from participating in matters involving potential financial conflicts of interest for the president.
With Republicans in control in Congress, of course, the bill is largely symbolic.
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