Even if Preet Bharara, the United States attorney for the Southern District of New York and an aggressive prosecutor of corruption, can't pursue a case against Trump for conflicts of interest – because Trump just fired Bharara -- the case ought to be pursued by the New York state attorney general, Eric Schneiderman. The Trump Organization is based in New York. It could also be pursued by other state attorneys general where Trump does business.
Businesses owned by Trump are making a mint from the governments of other countries and not even notifying lawmakers. As Trump’s son Eric put it yesterday, “I think our brand is the hottest it has ever been.”
Unconstitutional conflicts of interest are breaking out all over:
1. Foreign diplomats are flocking to Trump's Washington hotel, down the street from the White House, to spend money and curry favor with the administration.
2. Trump continues to rent space in Trump Tower to a Chinese government-owned bank and an agency of Abu Dhabi.
3. Regulators in China, a market that Trump has long sought to break into, just gave his business 38 valuable trademarks in a process that was unusually speedy for a trademark application, after Trump toned down his harsh talk toward Beijing.
4. Trump’s travel ban did not affect any of the predominantly Muslim countries where he has business interests.
5. Trump recently directed the Environmental Protection Agency to roll back regulations intended to protect drinking water supplies from pollution and runoff — a move that will benefit his numerous golf courses.
6. The New Yorker just reported that Trump licensed his name to a hotel and residential tower being developed by a political family in Azerbaijan that has close ties to an Iranian group linked to that country’s elite Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps.
Trump says he has addressed the problem of conflicts of interest by handing control of his companies to his sons. Rubbish. Trump still owns his businesses and his family is hardly independent of him.Trump must sell his businesses and put the proceeds in a blind trust overseen by independent managers.
At the very least, litigation could force him to provide more information about his businesses and finances, including his tax returns.
Eric Schneiderman, over to you (or to any other courageous state attorneys general). America needs you.
ERIC TRUMP ADMITS “BRAND IS THE HOTTEST IT HAS EVER BEEN”The Trump Organization is the Trump administration’s biggest winner. By Emily Jane Fox