Durbin Cosponsors Resolution Urging Trump To Comply With Emoluments Clause

Calls for Trump to honor promise to sever ties to his businesses

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) joined Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) and a group of 22 Senate Democrats in introducing a resolution calling on President-elect Trump to follow the precedent established by previous presidents and convert his assets to simple, conflict-free holdings, adopt blind trusts managed by an independent trustee, or take other equivalent measures in order to ensure compliance with the United States Constitution.
The resolution notes that in the absence of such actions by the President-elect before he assumes office or without specific authorization by Congress, Congress will regard dealings by Trump-owned companies with any entity owned by a foreign governmental actor as potential violations of the Constitution’s Emoluments Clause. President-elect Trump has promised to leave his position “in total” but hasn’t offered any specifics and continues to run the Trump Organization less than two months before Inauguration Day.  

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.”

“I urge President-elect Trump to honor his promise and effectively sever ties with his business empire while he is in office, letting the American people know with certainty that he is putting the United States’ interests before his or that of any foreign government,” said Durbin. “Failing to do so, or taking half measures, like turning over his company to family members without the proper legal framework, will lead to, at best, the appearance of impropriety, and at worst, entanglements that put our country at risk.”

Joining Senators Cardin and Durbin are Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Harry Reid (D-NV), Barbara A. Mikulski (D-MD), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Jack Reed (D-RI), Tom Carper (D-DE), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Tom Udall (D-NM), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Al Franken (D-MN), Chris Coons (D-DE), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Ed Markey (D-MA), and Cory Booker (D-NJ).
The text of the resolution is available here.