Bennet, Colleagues Introduce Bill to Require President and Vice President to Fully Divest Personal Financial Conflicts of Interest

Senators Also Reiterate Their Demand for Trump to Comply with Constitution's Emoluments Clause

Washington, D.C. - Colorado Senator Michael F. Bennet today joined a group of colleagues to introduce the Presidential Conflicts of Interest Act of 2017. The bill would require the President and Vice President to disclose and divest any potential financial conflicts of interest. It also would require presidential appointees to recuse themselves from any specific matters involving the President's financial conflicts of interest that come before their agencies.

Original co-sponsors of this legislation in the Senate included Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), and Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.).

The original co-sponsors of this legislation in the House included Representatives Katherine Clark (D-Mass.), John Conyers (D-Mich.), Richard Neal (D-Mass.), Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), Peter Welch (D-Vt.), and David Cicilline (D-R.I.).

The members have consistently asked for more transparency and accountability from President-elect Trump. In November, Democratic senators filed a Resolution stating the Senate's expectation that President-elect Trump needs to decisively and transparently divest all of his business interests and holdings and completely sever his affiliation with the Trump Organization to avoid any actual or perceived conflicts with the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution, which prohibits the president from accepting gifts or benefits from foreign governmental actors.

"The American people deserve to know that the President of the United States is working to do what's best for the country - not using his office to do what's best for himself and his businesses," said Senator Warren. "The only way for President-elect Trump to truly eliminate conflicts-of-interest is to divest his financial interests by placing them in a blind trust. This has been the standard for previous presidents, and our bill makes clear the continuing expectation that President-elect Trump do the same."

"The President-elect is entering office with unprecedented conflicts of interest," Senator Bennet said. "Unfortunately, Mr. Trump has so far failed to take steps to minimize these conflicts. This is the least we can do to ensure that the incoming Administration will place the interests of the American people first."

The text of the bill is available here, and a fact sheet is available here.