Highlights from Terry Gross’ interview:
“A president is not permitted to receive cash and other benefits from foreign governments,” Norm Eisen tells Fresh Air’s Terry Gross. “And yet, Donald Trump is getting a steady flow of them around the world and right here in the United States.”
…Eisen describes Trump’s business entanglements as “frankly and nakedly unconstitutional. … It is extraordinary that we’ll have a president who is violating the constitutional conflicts clause, the so-called Emoluments Clause, as soon as he takes the oath of office,” he says.
Painter concurs with Eisen’s assessment. “The president needs to focus on protecting the United States and American interests in a very dangerous world,” Painter says. “I really hope that President Trump takes the steps he needs to, to be free of conflict of interest in that endeavor.”
It is clear that Eisen and Painter decided not to wait for Trump to do right on his own, recognizing that he will never do so – their recourse to the courts is the first step. The second step will be to persuade enough responsible Republicans that their standard bearer is fleecing America and is on the road to destroying whatever credibility remains of the Republican party.
“Never before have the people of the United States elected a President with business interests as vast, complicated, and secret as those of Donald J. Trump,” the lawsuit to be filed on behalf of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) alleges, “creating countless conflicts of interest, as well as unprecedented influence by foreign governments.”