Trump has formally handed his businesses over to his sons in an attempt to prevent a conflict of interest during his term in office which begins on January 20. The Office of Government Ethics, however, is unsatisfied with his plan.
In a news report published by the BBC, President Elect Donald J. Trump has revealed in a news conference that he would transfer all of his businesses to a trust. This trust would be controlled in its totality by his Chief Financial Officer, Allen Weisselberg, and Trump’s two sons Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump.
Trump’s lawyer, Sheri Dillon, stated that this is the billionaire’s way of isolating himself from his many businesses. She also added that he would not use his new position of power for personal gain.
The Office of Government Ethics, however, disagrees with Donald Trump’s plan. The director of the office, Walter Shaub, stated that a transfer of trust would not completely separate the president-elect from his business empire.
For Shaub, divestiture is the only way to dissolve any conflict of interest. He suggests a blind trust, which is what other presidents before Trump have done, handing over the running of firms to independent trustees.
Trump’s plan is not a blind trust, says Shaub, because his sons are running the companies and the former would still know which assets he owns. “The only thing it has in common with a blind trust is the label trust.”
Shaub hopes that adjustments on the announced plan will be made with the help of constructive feedback from the Office of Government Ethics. On Trump’s part, Dillion revealed that an ethics adviser would be present to oversee matters as well as keep business interests separate.
In other news, ethics Professor, Carl Rhodes, fears that business ethics in the upcoming Donald Trump administration will find itself becoming selective, granting exceptions to those part of the new president’s cabinet. He called it an "anything goes" business ethics. To read more about it, click here.