Warren, Dems push bill to force Trump to shed conflicts of interest
© Haiyun Jiang

Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenIn defense of share buybacks Democrats urge Biden to go all in with agenda in limbo In Washington, the road almost never taken MORE is pushing President-elect Donald TrumpDonald TrumpJan. 6 committee chair says panel will issue a 'good number' of additional subpoenas Overnight Defense & National Security — Presented by AM General — Pentagon officials prepare for grilling Biden nominates head of Africa CDC to lead global AIDS response MORE to shed any financial investments that may create conflicts of interest once he takes office, warning that he risks violating the Constitution if he doesn't. 

The Massachusetts Democrat — backed by nearly 30 House and Senate Democrats — will introduce legislation Monday that would require Trump and Vice President-elect Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PencePence says he hopes conservative majority on Supreme Court will restrict abortion access Federal judge to hear case of Proud Boy alleged Jan. 6 rioter seeking release from jail The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Dems attempt to tie government funding, Ida relief to debt limit MORE to divest any financial assets that pose a conflict of interest and place the money into a blind trust.  
 
“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,” Warren said. 
 
The requirement also applies to their spouses and any dependent children. 
 
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The legislation would make it the "sense of Congress" that any violation by Trump of conflict of interest or ethics rules applying to executive branch employees would be a "high crime or misdemeanor." 
 
Warren's legislation would also block presidential appointees from participating in matters that are directly tied to the president-elect's or incoming first lady Melania Trump's financial interests or business that they control. 
 
Democrats warn if Trump doesn't sell off assets that could pose a conflict of interest he could be at risk of violating the Constitution's emoluments clause, which blocks the president from accepting "any present, emolument, office, or title, of any kind whatever, from any king, prince, or foreign state" without congressional consent.
 
Democrats have pressed Trump to be more transparent about his finances for months, including a push during the White House race for him to release his tax returns.
 
They argue Trump must hand over more information so Americans can know if he is making a decision because it is best for the country or for his own financial interest. 
 
"With Inauguration Day fast approaching, the American people are still waiting to hear what steps President-elect Trump will take to guard against conflicts of interest and corruption in his Administration,” said Sen. Dick DurbinDick DurbinGOP blocks debt limit hike, government funding The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - Democrats stare down 'hell' week Biden sidesteps GOP on judicial vacancies, for now MORE (Ill.), the Senate's No. 2 Democrat. 
 
 
Democrats face an uphill battle to clear the bill through a GOP-controlled Congress, where leadership has stressed since the election that they are focused on working with Trump.
 
Trump has said he would step back from the Trump Organization and leave the company to his adult children. 
 
He was scheduled to announce last month how he would untangle himself from his business interests, but Trump aide Kellyanne Conway said the press conference would be delayed because of “how convoluted and complex many of these business holdings are." 
 
Trump told reporters late last month that his business connections are "not a big deal. "
 
"You people are making that a big deal, the business, because look, No. 1, when I won, they all knew I had a big business all over the place," the president-elect said. 
 
Trump is expected to hold a press conference this week — possibly as soon as Wednesday.