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 TrumpSenators given no timeline on removal of National Guard, Capitol fence Democratic fury with GOP explodes in House Georgia secretary of state withholds support for 'reactionary' GOP voting bills 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 WarrenBecerra says he wants to 'build on' ObamaCare when pressed on Medicare for All Yellen deputy Adeyemo on track for quick confirmation Menendez reintroduces corporate diversity bill 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 CardinLiberals howl after Democrats cave on witnesses Senate strikes deal, bypassing calling impeachment witnesses Senators, impeachment teams scramble to cut deal on witnesses MORE (Md.), Chris CoonsChris Andrew CoonsPelosi's '9/11-type' commission to investigate Capitol riot could prove dangerous for Democrats Key players to watch in minimum wage fight Sunday shows - Trump acquittal in second impeachment trial reverberates MORE (Del.), Dick DurbinDick DurbinMurkowski undecided on Tanden as nomination in limbo Democrats ask FBI for plans to address domestic extremism following Capitol attack Progressive support builds for expanding lower courts MORE (Ill.) and Jeff MerkleyJeff MerkleyEx-Capitol Police chief did not get FBI report warning of violence on Jan. 6 Democrats want businesses to help get LGBT bill across finish line Democrats revive debate over calling impeachment witnesses 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 PenceThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by The AIDS Institute - Finger-pointing on Capitol riot; GOP balks at Biden relief plan Pence huddles with senior members of Republican Study Committee The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Supreme Court's blow to Trump 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 CarperTexas snowstorm wreaks havoc on state power grid The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by TikTok - Dems rest their case; verdict on Trump this weekend No signs of demand for witnesses in Trump trial 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!"