For a supposed iconic businessman, Trump sure does get himself in a lot of financial mishaps. It seems the high-profile Trump University scam wasn’t the only skeleton in his proverbial closet.
According to The Washington Post, Trump owes hundreds of millions of dollars to a German bank from settlement negotiations with the Justice Department.
Deutsche Bank owes a $14 billion fine to the Justice Department to settle claims that they issued bad mortgages during the housing crisis. According to the German media, the bank has opted for a state bailout that, if secured, could render the institution partially owned by the German government.
As for Trump, however, the situation is a reminder of the possible conflict of interests he could face as President of the United States.
As commander-in-chief, he would manage the United States’ relationship with the rest of the world and would oversee the Justice Department. Of course, he’d still have financial ties to private international institutions that could pose a series of conflicts of interest that get in the way of his ability to carryout his presidential duties.
Trevor Potter, a former Federal Election Commission chairman and general counsel of George H.W. Bush and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) told the The Washington Post:
‘It’s certainly foreseeable that he could intervene with the DOJ so as to not upset the financing of his companies.’
Potter continued, pointing out that it’s:
‘Unthinkable in recent history the possibility of a president being able to affect his own personal financial interests, conceivably to the detriment of the general public.’
Ethics advisors have encouraged Trump to sell his business interests if elected or even pass them off to an independent holding company in an effort to mediate conflicts of interests that could place him in tricky situations, should he take over the White House.
While numerous professionals have cited the numerous conflicting interests posed by Trump’s involvement in both the political and business world, Alan Garten, executive vice president and general counsel of the Trump Organization sees things in a different light.
He told the The Washington Post:
‘I don’t see the conflict.’
Comparing Clinton’s global philanthropy to Trump’s business affairs, he said:
‘Under your theory, no one who has ever done anything before can be elected to the highest office.’
Right, because that’s what’s being said here.
Actually, what advisers are saying is that Trump’s numerous conflicting interests pose a risk to the United States of America. In the case of the Deutsche Bank, it remains unclear as to exactly how Trump’s financial interests could possibly interfere with that of the bank’s. According to lawyers, however, they could have considerable leverage over The Donald as they mediate their way out of the current situation.
According to Ken Gross, a lawyer who has advised presidential candidates from both parties and is a former elections enforcement official:
‘The level of entanglements here are unprecedented. He’ll have to deal with conflict entanglements almost on a daily basis, based on the holdings he has, particularly those involving international issues. It’s just going to plague him, one way or another.’
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