If Trump is serious about draining the swamp he’s got to consider how his outside business dealings, including the dealings of close family, reflect on this effort. With power comes the temptation to line one’s pockets. Best to erect firewalls so that this temptation is mitigated to the largest extent possible. Even if Mr. Trump isn’t interested in engaging in crony capitalism there are going to be people around him, there always are, who will be interested. Best to just avoid future headaches.
(From The Wall Street Journal)
The President is exempt from federal conflict-of-interest laws, but Mr. Trump’s plan is already hitting political turbulence. Earlier this week Ivanka Trump’s jewelry company took heat for promoting a $10,800 diamond bangle that Ms. Trump donned during a family interview on CBS’s “60 Minutes.” The company chalked up the incident to an overeager marketing executive, but this is only the beginning of such media catcalls. By the way, Ms. Trump is married to Jared Kushner, who could be a useful adviser in the White House.
Mr. Trump’s best option is to liquidate his stake in the company. Richard Painter andNorman Eisen, ethics lawyers for George W. Bush and President Obama, respectively, have laid out a plan, which involves a leveraged buyout or an initial public offering.
Mr. Trump could put the cash proceeds in a true blind trust. The Trump children can keep the assets in their name, and he can transfer more to them as long as he pays a hefty gift tax. Finally, Mr. Trump should stipulate that he and his children will have no communication about family business matters.