President Donald Trump has resigned from the Trump Organization and his sons Don Jr. and Eric are in charge of the business, White House spokesman Sean Spicer said on Monday.
From The Daily Mail
‘He has resigned from the company as he said he would before he took office. Don and Eric are fully in charge of the company,’ Spicer told reporters at a news briefing.
Donald Trump, Jr. posted a picture on his Instagram account showing him and his brother on Monday.
The photo shows the two brothers standing side by side as they smile for the camera.
‘A new era has begun at The Trump Organization,’ the caption on the Instagram read.
Trump’s departure from his business interests and his handing the reins to his sons doesn’t appear likely to satisfy critics.
Current and former government ethics officials have said that Trump’s moves are not enough, according to NBC News.
To steer clear of the appearance of impropriety, the president should either completely liquidate all of his assets or place them in a blind trust, they say.
‘Stepping back from running his business is meaningless from a conflict-of-interest perspective,’ said Walter Shaub, the head of the US Office of Government Ethics.
‘The idea of setting up a trust to hold his operating businesses adds nothing to the equation. This is not a blind trust — it’s not even close.’
The president was sued on Monday by an ethics charity which claims he has ‘illegally received payments from foreign governments’.
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) claim Trump is in breach of the US Constitution because he has not divested himself of his business interests, including the hotel in the Old Post Office building in DC.
The Trump Organization leased the building from the federal government before turning it into a hotel, and the lease expressly prohibits any elected official from benefiting from the property.
CREW, which claims to be non-partisan, says Trump has broken an ’emoluments clause’ in the Constitution which prevents the commander-in-chief from receiving payments from foreign governments.
They argue that because guests staying at the hotel and other Trump-owned resorts include politicians and government officials from China, India, Indonesia and the Philippines, where he has business interests, he is in breach of the Constitution.
The lawsuit says: ‘When Trump the President sits down to negotiate trade deals with these countries, the American people will have no way of knowing whether he will also be thinking about the profits of Trump the businessman.’
Trump’s lawyer Sheri Dillon recently insisted the President was not in violation of the emoluments clause.
She said at a press conference: ‘Paying for a hotel room is not a gift or a present, and has nothing to do with an office. It is not an emolument. The Constitution does not require President-elect Trump to do anything here.’
The New York Times reported that Mr Trump’s son Eric said of the CREW lawsuit: ‘This is purely harassment for political gain, and, frankly, I find it very, very sad.’
CREW filed the lawsuit at the Southern District of New York at 9am on Monday.
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