Sunday, November 13, 2016

Short takes on the transition, tweets, and (foreign) tangles

Vice President-Elect Pence to Take Over Trump Transition Effort - Christie is out.

Trump’s foreign holdings present conflicts of interest - and a constitutional problem.

Richard Painter, an attorney who served as George W. Bush’s chief White House ethics lawyer, thinks Trump could run into trouble with Article One, Section 9 of the Constitution—the emoluments clause. The clause prohibits anyone in federal office from holding a title of nobility granted by a foreign king and from accepting gifts from foreign governments. … And, Painter says, the clause can be interpreted as a prohibition on a government official benefiting financially from a relationship with a foreign government. And Trump appears to have just that. An investigation by the New York Times found that the president-elect holds a 30 percent stake in a partnership that borrowed $950 million from four lenders, including the Bank of China, which is owned by the Chinese government.

“Any payments from foreign governments or payments from banks controlled by foreign governments would fall under the emoluments clause,” Painter notes. “The loans from the Bank of China could be an issue. If I were him, I’d want to be on the safe side and get rid of all that. If I were his lawyer, that would be on the top of my list.”

And to update that: Three of Trump’s children now responsible for his not-so-blind trust have been named to his transition team - as economic advisors no doubt.

Mr. Trump is drawing mainly from a pool of trusted aides and supporters, according to people familiar with the campaign. On Friday, he named three of his grown children — Ivanka, Donald Jr. and Eric — as well as his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, to his transition team, an arrangement that rang alarm bells in Washington because they will also manage his businesses. The Trump family, it is clear, will wield unusual power in the composition of an administration that is already shaping up as remarkable for its clannishness.

Trump’s twitter about protests should be protested.

Rampell on Trumpists and Trumpism:- let them have it. I’m usually aligned with Catherine Rampell on issues but not this time. To cement power, all Trump has to do is to avoid looking bad. The analogous case is what happened with the Barber-McSally race in AZ CD2. There was an idea embraced by some Dems that McSally would be so horrible that the voters would turn back to Dems. Didn’t happen that way.

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