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Durbin joins bill seeking divestiture of business interests by president, VP


CHICAGO — A group of Democratic U.S. senators say they will introduce a bill in January that would require the president and vice president to disclose and divest any potential financial conflicts of interest.

It would also require presidential appointees to recuse themselves from any specific matters involving the president’s financial conflicts of interest that come before their agencies.

The bill is cosponsored by Sens. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Ben Cardin, D-Md., Chris Coons, D-Del., and Jeff Merkley, D-Ore.

“President-elect Trump’s financial entanglements are unprecedented in American history, and the American people are still waiting to hear what steps he will take before Jan. 20 to guard against conflicts of interest and corruption in his administration. Just this week, the president-elect cancelled a scheduled announcement about severing his business ties, taking time instead to meet with Kanye West,” said Durbin. “The American people deserve to know that their president is putting the United States’ interests before his own, his family’s, or that of any foreign government.”

“The American people deserve to know that the president of the United States is working to do what’s best for the country – not using his office to do what’s best for himself and his businesses,” said Warren. “The only way for President-elect Trump to truly eliminate conflicts-of-interest is to divest his financial interests and place them in a blind trust. This has been the standard for previous presidents, and our bill makes clear the continuing expectation that President-elect Trump do the same.”

A fact sheet about the bill is available here. The legislation will be introduced when the Senate returns to session in January.

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