Richard Painter on White House Conflicts of Interest

Associate Reporter on the Government Ethics project and professor at the University of Minnesota Law School, Richard W. Painter appeared on NPR to discuss “Trump Conflicts Could Violate The Constitution On Day 1, Lawyers Say,” on December 23, 2016.  Professor Painter, who served as chief ethics lawyer for President George W. Bush appeared on the program with Norman Eisen who served as the chief ethics lawyer for President Obama.

The panelists stated that the same fundamental law applies to the U.S. President that applies to anyone serving in the government – the Constitution, which prohibits anyone in a government position from receiving payments from foreign governments.  Mr. Eisen believes that President-Elect Trump will be in violation of the constitution “on day one … because his businesses in the United States and around the world receive a steady flow of proceeds from foreign governments.”

Professor Painter explained that there are, “foreign-state-owned banks that lease space in Trump buildings, loans from the Bank of China to various Trump businesses, all of that needs to be unwound by January 20, or he needs to sell those businesses.  That’s the price of public service.”

Listen to the Morning Edition replay below. 

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