March 03, 2017

Van Hollen, Cardin Offer Resolution Urging Trump to Comply with Constitution by Severing Relationship with Private Business

U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin (both D-Md.) have joined 31 Senators to introduce a resolution calling upon President Trump to follow the precedent established by prior Presidents and convert his assets to simple, conflict-free holdings, adopt blind trusts managed by an independent trustee with no relationship to the President or his businesses, or take other equivalent measures in order to avoid a potential violation of the Constitution of the United States.

Article I, Section 9, Clause 8 of the U.S. Constitution provides that "no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under [the United States], shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State."

The Senate resolution "finds the promised actions outlined by President Donald J. Trump at his January 11, 2017, press conference wholly inadequate and insufficient to ensure compliance with the Emoluments Clause of the United States Constitution."

Reports continue to show that foreign countries, companies, and businesses are beginning to take advantage of the President's continued connection to his businesses in order to possibly curry favor or apply pressure, including in Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and China.

"The job of the president of the United States is to put the American people first. Unfortunately, until President Trump severs his extensive relationships with private businesses, voters will worry that he could be putting other interests first. We've introduced this resolution to make it clear to President Trump and the people we represent that this is unacceptable," said Senator Van Hollen. "Our nation deserves a president whose first thought is the public interest - not his own profits."

Senators Van Hollen and Cardin were joined by Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Bob Casey (D-Penn.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), and Catherine Cortez-Masto (D-Nev.).

Click here for the text of the resolution.