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 TrumpVeterans groups demand end to shutdown: 'Get your act together' Brown launches tour in four early nominating states amid 2020 consideration Pence on border wall: Trump won't be ‘deterred’ by Dem ‘obstruction’ 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 WarrenBrown launches tour in four early nominating states amid 2020 consideration Gillibrand announces exploratory committee to run for president on Colbert Native American group denounces Trump for using Wounded Knee in attack against Warren 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 CardinLeaders nix recess with no shutdown deal in sight McConnell blocks House bill to reopen government for second time Senators restart shutdown talks — and quickly hit roadblocks MORE (Md.), Chris CoonsChristopher (Chris) Andrew CoonsSunday shows preview: Washington heads into multi-day shutdown Overnight Energy: Senators introduce bipartisan carbon tax bill | House climate panel unlikely to have subpoena power | Trump officials share plan to prevent lead poisoning Flake to co-introduce bipartisan climate bill MORE (Del.), Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinTrump AG pick: I won't be 'bullied' by anyone, including the president Live coverage: Trump AG pick grilled on Mueller probe at confirmation hearing Senate Dems set to take aim at new Trump attorney general pick MORE (Ill.) and Jeff MerkleyJeffrey (Jeff) Alan MerkleySenate Democrats hold talkathon to protest partial shutdown Democrats plan to jam up Senate over shutdown fight Press: White House not only for white males 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 PenceTrump considering recognizing opposition leader as Venezuela's president: report Democrats vow to lift ban on federal funds for abortions Could Nancy Pelosi be the next president of the United States? 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 CarperEPA's Wheeler faces grilling over rule rollbacks Overnight Energy: House votes to reopen Interior, EPA | Dems question EPA over Wheeler confirmation prep | Virginia Dem backs Green New Deal Dems ask why EPA is preparing for Wheeler confirmation during shutdown 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!"