Minneapolis, MN- A number of former Republican officials and other people and organizations in the conservative movement have signed a letter urging President-elect Donald Trump to continue his divestment from business interests.
The letter is a sequel to a December 9 letter urging the divestment process. In the most recent letter, the group commends Trump for the steps he has taken thus far. This includes terminating foreign real estate deals, and the shutting down of both Trump’s and his son Eric’s charitable foundations.
“That is a good start, but we wish to be clear that the only way to solve the problems you face remains divesting your business enterprises into a blind trust managed by an independent trustee or the equivalent,” says the letter, “As long as you continue to maintain ownership of The Trump Organization, no other steps that you take will prevent the serious conflicts of interest… that will exist throughout your presidency.”
Former Republican Governors Arne Carlson of Minnesota and Christie Whitman of New Jersey have both signed the letter. Other signers include five former Republican members of the U.S. House, two former chief White House ethics lawyers.
Trump’s senior advisor Kellyanne Conway said on CNN that a press conference regarding Trump’s potential conflicts of interests is scheduled for January 11. She also advised that the date is subject to change based on the advice of Trump’s lawyers.
“Respectfully, you cannot serve the country as president and also own a world-wide business enterprise, without seriously damaging the presidency,” says the letter, “ In order to protect the integrity and credibility of the presidency, we again urge you to divest your business enterprises.”
A number of good-government advocacy groups such as Common Cause, and a number of liberal academics also signed the letter. The full list of signers can be found at the bottom of the letter.