President-elect Donald Trump made his name as a real estate developer and an international businessman before he pursued politics, and now a U.S. Senator wants to give Trump an ultimatum. Since the election, there's been national discussion about conflicts of interest between his duty as president and his business deals with the Trump Organization.
As ATTN: previously reported, there is no law that requires presidents to adhere to certain guidelines with their assets. However, experts say there has never been a president like Trump.
“It is uncharted territory, really in the history of the republic, as we have never had a president with such an empire both in the United States and overseas,” Michael J. Green, who previously served on the National Security Council and in the Department of Defense, told The New York Times.
Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) wants to make sure there are no conflicts of interest in the oval office.
Politico's Nahal Toosi first reported that Cardin plans to introduce a resolution this week to address Trump's international financial business deals, and Cardin's Communications Director Sue Walitsky told ATTN: that Cardin will introduce the resolution on Tuesday morning. In a statement released on his office website, Cardin said that Trump should take steps to "convert his assets to simple, conflict-free holdings, adopt blind trusts, or take other equivalent measures, in order to ensure compliance with the Emoluments Clause of the U.S. Constitution."
The Emoluments Clause says that "no person holding any office" shall accept presents, money, or titles from "any king, prince, or foreign state."
Cardin's resolution aims to have Congress consider any foreign dealings by Trump after he takes office as a violation of the Constitution.
“The Founding Fathers were clear in their belief that any federal office holder of the United States must never be put in a position where they can be monetarily or otherwise influenced by a foreign governmental actor," wrote Cardin. "This resolution is intended to prevent a crisis or any misunderstanding regarding the consistency of the President’s actions with the U.S. Constitution."
For his part, Trump told The New York Times last week that presidents can't have conflicts of interest.
"I mean I know that from the standpoint, the law is totally on my side, meaning, the president can’t have a conflict of interest," he told the Times. "That’s been reported very widely. Despite that, I don’t want there to be a conflict of interest anyway."
ATTN: reached out to the Trump transition team for comment. We will update the story if we hear back. You can read Sen. Cardin's full statement on Trump's business dealings on his office website.