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Trump Has No Choice: He Has to Sell the Stuff


Trump Has No Choice: He Has to Sell the Stuff

Dean Baker

Donald Trump is about to become president and immediately begin violating the constitution. The constitution explicitly prohibits the president from taking payments and gifts from foreign governments. (Can we stop using the term "emolument"? No one has used it for a hundred years. We want to be clear on what the constitution means.)

"If we give a damn about the constitution, Donald Trump has to sell off his empire and place his assets in a blind trust, just like every other president has done for the last half century."


I do absolutely agree that the dump-trump needs to divest from a-l-l-l-l his holdings, but how good are the chances that will actually happen when darth cheney didn't?
*With all the valid reasons for dumping the technicolor orange buffoon even b4 he is sworn in as prez why hasn't someone in government taken it upon themselves to tell the buffoon "YOU'RE FIRED!' b4 he gets anywhere near the reins of power? Inquiring minds want to know ...


I am less sanguine about the assertion that Trump will, as a matter of law, violate the constitution on day one as some have asserted. It seems to be less of an overreach to find that that his corporations, not he, is the one receiving the emoluments, thus exempting him from the Constitutional prohibitions, than for the courts to extend humanity, and therefore rights of free speech (what about the right to vote?) to corporations and the status of speech to money as the Supreme Court has already done.

That said, while there are technical, legal fictions to get around the Constitutional language on a de jure basis, it is quite clear that there is no way around the real conflicts and the spirit of the Constitution on a de facto basis. So, Mr. Baker is quite right that the only solution is complete divestiture for Donald Trump and all of the members of his family, who in their in own interest seem more than capable of, and apparently intent on, leveraging the President's position to their own end.

So, yes, to divestiture. If only it were so....


Sorkin is a smug idiot, so naturally he's with Don.


Relax. If Donny SERIOUSLY wants to assume the position of OUR President on Jan 21st, or whenever, all he has to do is call the Salvation Army or Goodwill and have them stop by and pick up his holdings. The law is very clear. Mr. Baker is right: "divesting all" means ALL. This is an All or None issue. Either he wants to be president or not. If not, the legal issue becomes "Can a vice president be sworn in if the president he is assisting is NOT sworn in? Trump chose Pence. Pence did not choose Trump. Will the moon still come out at night if the sun no longer shines?


Since his corporations are not public corporations and he and his family are the only stockholders, then it is the same as if he were receiving the money. That would be the takeaway from the decision to allow Hobby Lobby to claim that they had religious values, that they were a family corporation, not a public one. Therefore the corporation and the person were the same thing.


The key point of the article is "If we give a damn about the constitution". I'll defer to the sparkling eloquence of Wanker Bush: "It's just a god-damned piece of paper." We thought he was an idiot, but he and his minions made it true. The TPP, etc. are just pieces of paper also, but they will be obeyed as if delivered by divine intervention, the theology and orthodoxy of the new world order.

The "news" crawler this morning announced that Trump will hold a news conference on Dec. 15 to announce divestiture from his businesses. Should be interesting, but does anyone believe that singularity of infinite conceit will actually fully divest?

It was inevitable in this greatest capitalist empire (and not the "greatest democracy in history") yet that one such as Trump would eventually reside in the WH, or should past oligarchs of note be mentioned? Perhaps we should ask indigenous Americans if they see any irregularity at all that a real estate speculator is now the captain of the States.


From your lips, Dean, from your lips....


What is more likely than either Sorkin's or Baker's solution is that Trump will take the next four years to vastly expand business operations. They both assume Trump Inc. will remain limited to the hospitality and resort sector but I would anticipate strategic moves into pharma, defense and construction guided by inside information. Why wouldn't he take advantage of the present opportunity? Not to do so, in his view, would be like throwing money away.