The attorney general of New York Eric Schneiderman just moved on a Donald Trump corruption, and worse, investigation. He has hired public-corruption expert Howard McMaster to delve into the new administration. Schneiderman could not have found the expert in a more perfect place.
The New York attorney general went to the office of just-fired Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, who may have already been investigating Trump about corruption and Russia connections, according to the Wall Street Journal. Trump fired Bharara last week in spite of the Manhattan AG being in the midst of several investigations.
Schneiderman commented to the Journal:
‘Certainly, my office is looking at anything that’s passed on to us and doing our own research. We’ve had meetings with people discussing these matters already. [But it is premature to say one way or another how this is going to proceed.’
Nonprofit ethics watchdog Free Speech for People sent Schneiderman a letter last month directing him to illegal actions that involved Trump’s company. The letter called for the AG to revoke the Trump Organization’s New York business charter.
A second, more recent letter called for Schneiderman to investigate Trump’s company’s involvement in Baku, Azerbaijan, that “may have violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act” and U.S. sanctions against Iran.
One of the investigations McMasters is looking into involves Trump’s Health And Human Services Secretary Tom Price’s alleged illegal stock trading. Price supposedly bought stocks of companies, while he was making laws that directly affected them.
Schneiderman spokesman Eric Soufer was able to confirm that the Manhattan AG may look into prosecuting members of the Trump administration for “civil and criminal investigations … including public corruption.”
The New York AG revealed his office is looking into Trump’s possible conflicts of interest, and violations of the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution. This clause says that no one holding a federal office can receive payments by people from other countries. Schneiderman told the Journal that Trump cannot:
‘Refuse to divest from all of his vast holdings and refuse to disclose what those holdings are…[Trump is] so far beyond the bounds of anything that anyone has ever attempted that people are having trouble coming up with a clear legal strategy to address it.’
And so it begins.
Check out this clear explanation of the Emoluments Clause in the video below:
Featured Image: Getty Images/Justin Sullivan.