Congressman Tim Ryan Condemns President-elect Trump’s Refusal to Divest Businesses

Jan 12, 2017

Washington, DC – Congressman Tim Ryan today rejected President-elect Donald Trump’s announcement to ignore the council of the Office of Governmental Ethics and refuse presidential precedence of divesting corporate interests, liquidating business assets and placing them in a blind trust.

“President-elect Trump’s blatant refusal to ignore our nation’s bipartisan ethics office and throw aside decades of presidential precedence is reprehensible and leaves our nation extremely vulnerable to corruption. Throughout the campaign, I heard President-elect Trump talk about ‘draining the swamp’, yet nearly every decision he has made since the election has severely reduced transparency and created an environment for corruption to flourish,” said Congressman Ryan.“The presidency of the United States is too important to leave susceptible to such blatant conflicts of interest. It is time for Donald Trump to put the American people before his business interests. The President has the responsibility to strengthen our country and lead it toward a better tomorrow, this is the first step towards those goals.”

"The president is now entering a world of public service," said Walter Schaub, Director of the Office of Government Ethics in a speech at the Brookings Institution. "He's going to be asking his own appointees to make sacrifices. He's going to be asking our men and women in uniform to risk their lives in conflicts around the world. So no, I don't think divestiture is too high a price to pay to be the president of the United States of America."

Ryan is a cosponsor of H.Con.Res.178 – which clarifies any potential misunderstanding as to whether actions taken by President-elect Donald Trump constitute a violation of the Emoluments Clause, and calling on President-elect Trump to divest his interest in, and sever his relationship to, the Trump Organization.