In a report published Tuesday, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), a nonprofit government watchdog group, cited Donald Trump for leading the “most unethical presidency” in modern times and possibly in the nation’s history.
CREW dubbed the Trump administration as “The Most Unethical Presidency: Year One.” His utter disregard for standard ethics practices led to legal challenges and scandals tainting the office according to their report.
Noah Bookbinder, executive director of CREW and a former Department of Justice corruption prosecutor; Norm Eisen, the former ethics czar for the Obama administration and CREW chairman; Richard Painter, vice chairman at CREW and chief White House ethics lawyer for President George W. Bush; and the CREW staff drafted the 36-page report.
The Trump administration is confronted by an extraordinary scale and scope of legal and ethics scandals. It is unrivaled in the modern era, and perhaps in the history of the nation, for a first-year administration.”
CREW brought 180 legal challenges against Trump and his administration during his first year in office. Financial conflicts of interest or the “emoluments clause” in the Constitution were often cited. The emoluments clause bars a president from receiving payments, real or in other financial forms like real estate or business deals, from foreign governments.
For virtually every decision President Trump makes, from taxes to environmental regulations to foreign policy, the American people cannot be sure whether he made his decision in the public interest or to benefit his bottom line.”
A federal judge dismissed two lawsuits, one filed by CREW, citing emoluments clause violations. Despite the ruling, the ethics watchdog group remains certain Trump financially profits from his position as commander in chief.
Meanwhile, President Trump has again and again used his office [to] personally profit, most prominently by spending roughly a third of his days as president at his resorts, but also by constantly promoting his businesses. No president in the history of our nation has held businesses creating the kinds of conflicts, constitutional violations, and self-dealing we see with this one.”
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