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 TrumpHouse votes to condemn Chinese government over Hong Kong Former Vice President Walter Mondale dies at age 93 White House readies for Chauvin verdict 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 WarrenWorld passes 3 million coronavirus deaths Poll: 56 percent say wealth tax is part of solution to inequality Democratic senators call on Biden to support waiving vaccine patents 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 CardinSenators in the dark on parliamentarian's decision When it comes to the Iran nuclear deal, what's a moderate Democrat to do? Battle lines drawn on Biden's infrastructure plan MORE (Md.), Chris CoonsChris Andrew CoonsAdvocacy groups pushing Biden to cancel student debt for disabled Senators in the dark on parliamentarian's decision Sunday shows preview: Russia, US exchange sanctions; tensions over policing rise; vaccination campaign continues MORE (Del.), Dick DurbinDick DurbinWhite House defends 'aspirational' goal of 62,500 refugees Biden on refugee cap: 'We couldn't do two things at once' For a win on climate, let's put our best player in the game MORE (Ill.) and Jeff MerkleyJeff MerkleyA proposal to tackle congressional inside trading: Invest in the US Democratic senators call on Biden to support waiving vaccine patents Lobbying world 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 PenceSicknick had two strokes, died of natural causes after Capitol riot The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - All US adults now eligible for COVID vaccines The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - All US adults can get vaccine; decision Friday on J&J vax 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 CarperThis week: Democrats move on DC statehood OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Senate confirms Mallory to lead White House environment council | US emissions dropped 1.7 percent in 2019 | Interior further delays Trump rule that would make drillers pay less to feds Key Democrat says traveler fees should fund infrastructure projects 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!"