Bipartisan Coalition Calls on Trump to Divest His Business into a True Blind Trust


CLC, Leading Governance Experts Urge the President-elect to Avoid Ongoing Conflicts of Interest and Protect the Integrity of the Presidency

WASHINGTON – The Campaign Legal Center joined today with a bipartisan group of signers, including past Republican and Democratic White House Counsels, in a letter to President-elect Donald Trump calling on him to divest his business enterprises into a true blind trust managed by an independent trustee with no family relationship. Trump will announce his plans regarding his and his family’s financial stake in his business on December 15.

 “Should  President-elect Trump fail to put his business enterprises into a blind trust, his actions would undermine public confidence in decisions he would make as president,” said Trevor Potter, president of the Campaign Legal Center. “Choosing not to separate from these business interests will haunt President-elect Trump throughout his entire presidency. It will distract him and the American people from the important decisions he will need to make about domestic and foreign policies. It will create confusion and undermine his credibility when foreign nations and state-owned companies interact with the Trump Organization, or when the U.S. government undertakes actions that affect Trump business interests overseas.

“Maintaining ownership of the Trump enterprises will create the appearance that President-elect Trump and his family are using the presidency to enrich themselves, even if that is not his intention. The last thing President-elect Trump should ever want is a never-ending battle over the conduct of his personal business affairs.”

The following groups and individuals signed on to the letter:

Ambassador (ret.) Norm Eisen, chief White House ethics lawyer, 2009-2011

Richard Painter, chief White House ethics lawyer, 2005-2007

Campaign for Accountability

Arne H. Carlson, Former Governor of Minnesota (R)

Kathleen Clark, Professor of Law, Washington University, Affiliation noted for identification

purposes only

Center for American Progress

Center for Media and Democracy

Common Cause


Democracy 21

Former Rep. Mickey Edwards (R-OK), Former Chairman, House Republican Policy Committee Every Voice

Issue One

Thomas Mann

Norm Ornstein

People For the American Way

Trevor Potter, President, Campaign Legal Center

Project On Government Oversight (POGO)

Public Citizen

John Pudner, Executive Director, Take Back Our Republic

The Rootstrikers Project at Demand Progress

Former Rep. Claudine Schneider (R-RI) 4
Former Rep. John J.H. Schwarz, M.D. (R-MI)

Peter Schweizer, President, Government Accountability Institute

Former Rep. Peter Smith (R-VT)

Sunlight Foundation

Laurence H. Tribe, Carl M. Loeb University Professor and Professor of Constitutional Law,

Harvard Law School, Affiliation noted for identification purposes only

Christie Whitman, Former Governor of New Jersey (R)