Senate Dems rolling out bill to force Trump to shed conflicts of interest
© Greg Nash
A group of Senate Democrats will introduce legislation requiring President-elect Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden slams Trump over golf gif hitting Clinton Trump Jr. declines further Secret Service protection: report Report: Mueller warned Manafort to expect an indictment MORE to divest any financial assets that pose a conflict of interest and place the money into a blind trust.
 
The bill would also consider any violation by Trump of conflict of interest or ethics laws a "high crime or misdemeanor under the impeachment clause of the U.S. constitution," according to a fact sheet on the forthcoming bill from Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenSenate Dems hold floor talk-a-thon against latest ObamaCare repeal bill Trump bets base will stick with him on immigration Dems call for action against Cassidy-Graham ObamaCare repeal MORE's office. 
 
"The American people deserve to know that the President of the United States is working to do what's best for the country — not using his office to do what's best for himself and his businesses," the Massachusetts Democrat said. 
 
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Democratic Sens. Ben CardinBenjamin (Ben) Louis CardinTrump officials brief lawmakers on North Korea Blackwater founder calls for military contractors in Afghanistan Tillerson moves to eliminate special envoy posts at State Dept.: report MORE (Md.), Chris CoonsChristopher (Chris) Andrew CoonsRaising awareness about maternal health worldwide on National Bump Day Senate plans hearing for bills to protect Mueller Entering a new era of African investment MORE (Del.), Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinSenate Dems hold floor talk-a-thon against latest ObamaCare repeal bill Overnight Defense: Senate passes 0B defense bill | 3,000 US troops heading to Afghanistan | Two more Navy officials fired over ship collisions Senate passes 0B defense bill MORE (Ill.) and Jeff MerkleyJeffrey (Jeff) Alan MerkleySenate Dems hold floor talk-a-thon against latest ObamaCare repeal bill Overnight Defense: Senate passes 0B defense bill | 3,000 US troops heading to Afghanistan | Two more Navy officials fired over ship collisions Senate passes 0B defense bill MORE (Ore.) also back the legislation. They'll formally introduce the bill next month when lawmakers return to Washington. 
 
The legislation would require incoming first lady Melania Trump, Vice President-elect Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PenceNew GOP ObamaCare repeal bill gains momentum Pence hires Freedom Caucus adviser for press secretary Lawmakers, pick up the ball on health care and reform Medicaid MORE, his wife, Karen Pence, and Trump's youngest son, Barron, to shed any financial assets that would pose a conflict of interest and place them into a blind trust. 
 
It would also block presidential appointees from participating in matters that are directly linked to the Trumps' financial interests, or businesses controlled by the president-elect or Melania Trump. 
 
The legislation would face an uphill battle in a GOP-controlled Congress, where leadership has stressed since the election that they are focused on working with Trump. 
 
But Democrats are showing no signs of backing down from their monthslong hounding of Trump over his financial ties, urging him to follow the advice of a top government ethics office. 
 
Twenty-three senators sent a letter to Trump this week, warning that his financial ties "have the potential for serious conflicts between the national interest and your personal financial interests."
 
Durbin noted that Trump was expected to announce his plans to untangle himself from his vast businesses ties this week, but argued he instead took time to meet with Kanye West. 
 
"President-elect Trump's financial entanglements are unprecedented in American history, and the American people are still waiting to hear what steps he will take before January 20th to guard against conflicts of interest and corruption in his Administration," he said. 
 
Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway said the press conference would be delayed until next month because of “how convoluted and complex many of these business holdings are.”
 
Sen. Tom CarperThomas (Tom) Richard CarperIt’s time for Congress to actually fix the individual health insurance market Where Dems stand on Sanders's single-payer bill Trump riles Dems with pick for powerful EPA job MORE (D-Del.) separately released a letter from the Office of Government Ethics (OGE) that noted it wasn't involved in Trump's business plan. It also said that Trump's stated plan to turn over the Trump Organization to his oldest children would not qualify as a "blind trust."
 
Trump defended his businesses on Thursday morning, saying on Twitter: "The media tries so hard to make my move to the White House, as it pertains to my business, so complex — when actually it isn't!"