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 TrumpAccuser says Trump should be afraid of the truth Woman behind pro-Trump Facebook page denies being influenced by Russians Shulkin says he has White House approval to root out 'subversion' at VA 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 WarrenTrump's SEC may negate investors' ability to fight securities fraud Schatz's ignorance of our Anglo-American legal heritage illustrates problem with government Dems ponder gender politics of 2020 nominee 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 CardinWashington puts Ethiopia's human rights abusers on notice Overnight Defense: Mattis vows Dreamers in military won't be deported | Pentagon unsure if military parade will be in Washington | Dem bill would block funds for parade Dems introduce bills to block funds for Trump's proposed parade MORE (Md.), Chris CoonsChristopher (Chris) Andrew CoonsAfter Florida school shooting, vows for change but no clear path forward Democrats put Dreamers and their party in danger by playing hardball Sunday shows preview: Russian charges, Florida shooting dominate coverage MORE (Del.), Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinAmerica’s waning commitment to the promise of the First Amendment Senate rejects Trump immigration plan What to watch for in the Senate immigration votes MORE (Ill.) and Jeff MerkleyJeffrey (Jeff) Alan MerkleyGrassley, Dems step up battle over judicial nominees 2020 Dem contenders travel to key primary states Mulvaney remarks on Trump budget plan spark confusion 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 PenceNorth Korea canceled secret meeting with Pence at Olympics Judicial order in Flynn case prompts new round of scrutiny The CIA may need to call White House to clarify Russia meddling 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 CarperTrump states would bear brunt of gas tax increase: conservative groups Trump talk riles advocates on both sides of gas tax Senate bill would let EPA implement global greenhouse gas deal 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!"