Office of Government Ethics Responds to Carper Inquiry on President-elect Trump’s Conflicts of Interest

Ranking Member Carper sought more information on plans to address the handling of the Trump Organization and the President-elect’s financial and familial conflicts of interest

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), top Democrat on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, received a response to his letter sent to the Office of Government Ethics (OGE) Director Walter Shaub requesting more information regarding how his office plans to address the potential for conflicts of interest in the upcoming Administration of President-elect Donald Trump.

In his November letter, Senator Carper asked the Office of Government Ethics what guidance they are providing to the President-elect about addressing potential conflicts of interest. In their response, the Office of Government Ethics made clear that, “…[I]t has been the consistent policy of the executive branch that a President should conduct himself ‘as if’ he were bound by this financial conflict of interest law [18 U.S.C. § 208]. Given the unique circumstances of the Presidency, OGE’s view is that a President should comply with this law by divesting conflicting assets, establishing a qualified blind trust, or both.”

OGE also concluded in its response that, “Transferring operational control of a company to one’s children would not constitute the establishment of a qualified blind trust, nor would it eliminate conflicts of interest under 18 U.S.C. § 208 if applicable.”

“Clearly, transferring control of the Trump organization to his sons Donald Jr. and Eric, as the President-elect announced his intention to do yesterday, does not solve the numerous conflicts facing the President-elect and his incoming administration,” Senator Carper said today following OGE’s response. “President-elect Trump has a sworn duty to ensure the American people that, in every decision he make as President of the United States, he has no other interests than those of our country, and I urge him to heed OGE’s advice in order to do so.”

The text of Director Shaub’s response can be found in PDF form here