Other Conflicts

As Norman Eisen and Richard Painter have warned, “Without an ethics firewall that is set up at once and continues into the administration, scandal is sure to follow.”

Update | Week of October 30, 2017

11/6/17  //  Daily Update

More than half of Senate-confirmed appointees in the Trump Administration have a notable conflict of interest. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross's filings raise new questions about conflicts of interest.

Zachary Piaker

Columbia Law School

Updates | The Week of October 23, 2017

10/31/17  //  Daily Update

Considerable controversy ensued over a $300 million contract to repair Puerto Rico's power grid awarded to a tiny for-profit company based in Interior Secretary Zinke's small Montana hometown.

Tax Consequences of Legal Defense Funds

10/24/17  //  In-Depth Analysis

President Trump and a number of his associates have established legal defense funds (LDFs) in connection with various Congressional investigations. What rules govern these LDFs?

Take Care

Updates | The Week of October 2, 2017

10/8/17  //  Daily Update

Reports revealed that a political donation to the New York District Attorney may have thwarted a 2012 felony fraud indictment against Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump, Jr. Controversy continued to rage over administration officials' use of private and military aircraft.

Versus Trump: So, Can California Really Do That?

10/5/17  //  Commentary

On this week’s episode of Versus Trump, Charlie and Jason discuss a recently-passed bill awaiting the signature of California Governor Jerry Brown that, if signed into law, would require presidential candidates to disclose five years of federal of tax returns in order to appear on the ballot in California. Jason and Charlie ask each other whether California has the constitutional power to do that, and, if so, whether it's a good idea. Listen now!

Charlie Gerstein

Civil Rights Corps

Jason Harrow

Equal Citizens

Updates | The Week of September 25, 2017

10/1/17  //  Daily Update

Controversy continued over senior administration officials' use of private aircraft at taxpayers' expense. Supreme Court Justice Gorsuch's speech at the Trump International Hotel sparked backlash.

Updates | The Week of August 21, 2017

8/27/17  //  Daily Update

The President’s allies are seeing lucrative benefits for their support. Meanwhile, the Secret Service has already exhausted the agency’s budget for protecting the President’s extensive circle of family and aides.

Updates | The Week of August 14, 2017

8/20/17  //  Daily Update

The Trump Organization may have rescinded the President's "no new deals" pledge.

Conflict of Interest Isn’t a Game

7/28/17  //  Commentary

When Trump makes claims about conflicts of interest without any reference to the applicable rules, he's just shooting squid ink.

David Sklansky

Stanford Law School

Versus Trump: A Gadfly Suit + Leah Litman

6/15/17  //  In-Depth Analysis

On a new episode of Versus Trump, Take Care's podcast, Easha, Jason, and Charlie discuss a lawsuit against the President that's been brought by a D.C. gadfly who claims that Trump did not provide sufficient detail on the financial disclosure form he submitted as a candidate. Then, Easha talks with Leah Litman about the status of the Muslim ban litigation and the role of oral advocacy in this and other high-profile cases. Listen now!

Charlie Gerstein

Civil Rights Corps

Easha Anand

San Francisco

Versus Trump: "What About Congress? + Steven Wu"

6/8/17  //  Commentary

On a new episode of Versus Trump, Take Care's podcast, Easha, Jason, and Charlie discuss Congress's role and powers in investigations of the Executive. Then, Jason talks with Steven Wu, a Deputy Solicitor General in the Office of New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, about the case against Trump University, the active role of states in recent years, and other issues in which New York is adverse to the President. Listen now!

Easha Anand

San Francisco

Charlie Gerstein

Civil Rights Corps

Yesterday's Other Story: Republican Knowledge of Russian Interference?

5/18/17  //  Commentary

Yesterday, a Washington Post story indicated that Republican House leadership may have known that Russia had hacked the DNC and was delivering the contents of the hack to the Trump campaign.

Leah Litman

U.C. Irvine School of Law

GSA, Trump International Hotel, and the Constitution

3/24/17  //  Quick Reactions

Yesterday, the General Services Agency surprised experts by declaring that the Trump Hotel in D.C. is not in violation of its lease. But the GSA's decision itself might well violate the Domestic Emoluments Clause.

Brianne J. Gorod

Constitutional Accountability Center

DeVos Gives Accountability the Boot

4/14/17  //  Commentary

Education Secretary Betsy DeDos has jettisoned memos that hold student loan services accountable for past performance. That hurts everyone except her buddies in the loan servicing industry.

Danielle D'Onfro

Washington University Law School

The Comey Affair And Evidence Of Motive

5/12/17  //  In-Depth Analysis

The Comey affair underscores that decisionmakers must look beyond the administration’s “official” documents to determine the administration’s motives.

Leah Litman

U.C. Irvine School of Law

Tracking Corruption and Conflicts in the Trump Administration

6/13/17  //  In-Depth Analysis

An updated quarterly report on instances in which there are credible allegations of President Trump, his family, and his close associates exploiting their public power for private gain.

Take Care

Profiting from the Presidency?

5/3/17  //  In-Depth Analysis

Tracking Corruption and Conflicts of Interest in the Trump Administration

Take Care

The (Other) Dark Side Of The Comey Affair

5/15/17  //  Commentary

James Comey’s firing threatens more than just the rule-of-law norm against self-investigation. It also threatens the rule-of-law norm against politically motivated policing and prosecutions.

Leah Litman

U.C. Irvine School of Law

[UPDATED] Trump's Innocence and the Rule of Law

5/12/17  //  Commentary

Even if Trump fired Comey because Trump knows himself to be innocent of Russia-related wrongdoing, that would still be unacceptable.

Richard Primus

University of Michigan Law School

On Presumptions Of Regularity, And Incidents Of Irregularity

5/11/17  //  Commentary

The Presumption of Regularity, Like All Presumptions, Is Rebuttable, Not Conclusive Evidence

Leah Litman

U.C. Irvine School of Law

A Few Cheers For The Appointment Of A Special Counsel

5/17/17  //  Quick Reactions

In a welcome development, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller as a special counsel to investigate Russia-related (criminal) wrongdoing.

Leah Litman

U.C. Irvine School of Law

Updates | The Week of April 17, 2017

4/23/17  //  Daily Update

President Trump and his administration continue to run into potential conflicts of interest.

Take Care

Updates | The Week of March 27, 2017

4/2/17  //  Daily Update

As Ivanka Trump expands her role in the White House, Senators call to ensure she complies with all ethics laws. President Trump's nominee to lead the FDA has reported receiving millions of dollars from large drug makers in recent years.

Updates | The Week of April 24, 2017

4/30/17  //  Daily Update

Conflicts of interest occupied the spotlight this week as watchdog groups raised concerns about Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump. Former Trump campaign staffers are using their positions to attract foreign lobbying contracts.

Updates | The Week of May 8, 2017

5/14/17  //  Daily Update

Jared Kushner's sister's comments at an event in China offering visas in return for investments raised eyebrows this week. A member of Congress has requested information regarding Kellyanne Conway's business relationships.

Updates | The Week of June 19, 2017

6/25/17  //  Daily Update

The Administration's hiring of Lynne Patton, a former wedding planner for the Trump family, raises conflict of interest concerns.

Updates | The Week of April 10, 2017

4/16/17  //  Daily Update

The Government Accountability Office opened an investigation into conflicts of interests during President Trump's transition.

Updates | The Week of March 20, 2017

3/26/17  //  Daily Update

The Government Services Agency sided with Trump Hotel in Washington, D.C. on allegations that it was in violation of its lease. Meanwhile, President Trump's nominees and advisors face conflicts criticism of their own.

Helen Klein Murillo

Harvard Law School '17

Updates | The Week of May 1, 2017

5/7/17  //  Daily Update

Jared Kushner has current business ties with Goldman Sachs, George Soros, and Peter Thiel.

Updates | The Week of July 10, 2017

7/16/17  //  Daily Update

The Trump Administration had a strained relationship with Walter Shaub, former head of the Office of Government Ethics. This is unsurprising given the President's and other administration officials' investments.

Updates | The Week of July 17, 2017

7/23/17  //  Daily Update

The former director of the Office of Government Ethics called for significant ethics reforms. Bank regulators are reviewing loans President Trump received from Deutsche Bank.

Updates | The Week of May 29, 2017

6/4/17  //  Daily Update

Jared Kushner's company used a federal loan program intended to subsidize low-income housing to build a luxury residential building, and the Administration released its ethics waivers online.

Updates | The Week of June 5, 2017

6/11/17  //  Daily Update

The Office of Government Ethics plans to investigate the waivers granted to lobbyists and industry officials to enable them to work at the Trump White House.

Take Care

Updates | The Week of July 3, 2017

7/9/17  //  Daily Update

The Director of the Office of Government Ethics resigned this week. The Trump Organization renewed domain names for prospective Russian business ventures.

Updates | The Week of April 3, 2017

4/9/17  //  Daily Update

President Trump's financial disclosure forms have garnered a lot of criticism. Jared Kushner's role in the White House and his relationship with Chinese officials has also been the subject of scrutiny.

Updates | The Week of June 12, 2017

6/18/17  //  Daily Update

Special counsel Robert Mueller is investigating Jared Kushner. The latest episode of Versus Trump podcast discusses President Trump's violations of the Ethics In Government Act.