Julia Harte

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Archive for May 2017

U.S. senator asks ethics office to review Trump hotel payments

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May 22, 2017, Reuters

Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) speaks to reporters on following a policy luncheon on Capitol Hill in WashingtonThe top Democrat on the U.S. Senate committee overseeing pensions on Monday asked the U.S. Office of Government Ethics to assess whether President Donald Trump is violating the Constitution and federal bans on conflicts of interest.

Reuters reported on April 26 that public pension funds in at least seven U.S. states periodically send millions of dollars to an investment fund that owns the upscale Trump SoHo Hotel and Condominium in New York City and pays a Trump company to run it, according to a Reuters review of public records.

“Trump may be profiting from the retirement plans of millions of our nation’s public servants,” Senator Patty Murray of Washington state wrote in a letter to Walter Shaub, the director of the Office of Government Ethics, citing the Reuters report.

The Office of Government Ethics is the U.S. agency that oversees conduct within the executive branch and supervises ethics officials to ensure they are preventing conflicts of interest and other violations.

“This looks like exactly the type of monetary flow prohibited by the Constitution,” said the senator.

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Written by juliaharte

May 22, 2017 at 4:18 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Public investments in Trump-operated hotel set dangerous precedent: U.S. senators

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May 1, 2017, Reuters

FILE PHOTO: The Trump Soho Hotel is seen in New YorkU.S. President Donald Trump is flirting with unparalleled violations of the Constitution by not divesting himself from a hotel management company that benefits financially from public pension fund investments, according to two Democratic U.S. senators.

Reuters exclusively reported on April 26 that public pension funds in at least seven U.S. states periodically send millions of dollars to an investment fund that owns the Trump SoHo Hotel and Condominium in New York City and pays one of Trump’s companies to run it, according to a Reuters review of public records.

The investments could put Trump at risk of violating an obscure constitutional clause that prohibits the president from receiving additional payments beyond his salary from state governments, say several constitutional lawyers. A separate constitutional clause bars the president from receiving payments from foreign governments.

Trump is “setting an extremely dangerous precedent,” said Ben Cardin, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, on Friday. Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut expressed similar concerns.

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Written by juliaharte

May 1, 2017 at 4:21 pm

Posted in Uncategorized