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NY Times: Trump Still Closely Tied to Business Holdings

The New York Times released a report that President Trump is still connected to his business empire, which could present a conflict of interest.

The Hill reports:

President Trump is still closely tied to his business dealings despite placing the holdings in a trust to avoid a conflict of interest, according to report from The New York Times.

The Times says Trump, who still gets reports on profits and losses, could at any time revoke the authority of the two men named as trustees, Donald Trump Jr. and Chief Financial Officer Allen H. Weisselberg.

After analyzing documents laying out the structure of the trust and speaking to experts, the newspaper concluded that, for example, as regards the new Trump International Hotel, the “arrangement simply creates an additional legal step between Mr. Trump and the hotel — meaning he will still profit from” the Washington, D.C, property.

“Formally he is no longer the owner, but functionally he still is,” Harvard law professor Robert H. Sitkoff told the newspaper.

Trump in a press conference before his inauguration promised to hand his business holdings over to his two oldest sons and to place the dealings in a trust to avoid any conflicts of interest he may face as president.

Another expert who spoke to the Times said the Donald J. Trump Revocable Trust does not achieve its intended goals. The purpose of the trust is to hold assets for the “exclusive benefit” of Trump.

“I don’t see how this in the slightest bit avoids a conflict of interest,” Frederick J. Tansill, a trust lawyer, told the newspaper.

“First it is revocable at any time, and it is his son and his chief financial officer who are running it.”

The report, published online Friday and in print Saturday, drew ire from the president Saturday morning on Twitter.

“After being forced to apologize for its bad and inaccurate coverage of me after winning the election, the FAKE NEWS @nytimes is still lost!” Trump wrote.

Photo credit: CNN/Screenshot.

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