President-elect Donald Trump is not expected to divest from his businesses before he enters the White House, but will not be involved in the day-to-day decision-making of his wide-ranging business empire.
"He's not going to divest them," Wall Street Journal reporter Monica Langley told CNN. "He is going to lay out how he will not be involved at all. But he's going to still plan to own it and the reason they're not going to sell it...is at first everyone thought, 'Well if they sold it, it'll be a fire sale.'"
Trump owns or has a position in more than 500 companies spanning 25 countries, including Saudi Arabia, according to a CNN analysis.
Democratic lawmakers are making the case that Trump's wide-ranging business interests violate a 2012 insider trading law known as the STOCK Act if he continues to profit off of some of them while serving as president.
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“Donald Trump is not above the law, and I will be working with my colleagues in Congress over the coming weeks and months to ensure this law is enforced as strongly as possible, so we can hold him accountable for any ethical or legal transgressions,” said Democratic Rep. Louise Slaughter of New York, who helped write the 2012 law, according to Politico.
Norm Eisen, a former ethics adviser to President Barack Obama, said it seems implausible that Trump would not govern with his business interests in mind, which would therefore break the law.
“As long as he maintains an interest in his businesses, the temptations and opportunities for information to leak back-and-forth between him and his family will be too profound,” Eisen said. “The alternative threatens violation of the STOCK Act and other laws, and so scandal for him, his family, and the country.”