Charlston Gazette-Mail: Like Trump, Jim Justice’s financial holdings make conflicts possible


Lawrence Noble, the general counsel for the national Campaign Legal Center, said the only way for Justice to fully avoid any appearance of conflict with some of his privately held businesses — especially the coal operations — would be to sell them.

Appointing someone other than his family to run the businesses wouldn’t be a perfect fix either, Noble said, because Justice would still know he’s profiting from those companies.

“People realize when you are asked to vote against your financial interests or the financial interests of your family, it is very hard to do,” Noble said.

Noble, who previously worked as general counsel for the Federal Elections Commission and the Center for Responsive Politics, understands divesting from a privately owned business is something politicians like Justice and Trump don’t want to do, but he said they should consider those personal conflicts before running for office.

“I’m sympathetic at some level of the problems that they face,” Noble said. “But you are not drafted to run for these offices.”

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