Donald Trump announced, finally, how he plans to restructure his personal, business and family assets in such a way as to protect himself legally against real and imagined conflicts of interest when he assumes the Presidency in another week. With the backdrop literally of tons of files and prestigious legal representation, he outlined a plan that almost instantly was deemed totally insufficient by many experts to shield him from major potential legal battles based on self-dealing, not to mention violations of the emoluments clause in the U.S. Constitution. In what we now know to be classical Trump bravado, Trump pronounced that his plan was final and fully in keeping with the law, and even proclaimed that the Constitution makes clear that as President he could legally and freely serve in office and, at the same time, run his huge, international network of interlocking businesses.
Like so much else, Trump cares not a whit about what others think, having spent much of his live embroiled in one or another lawsuit. But, he fails to realize he’s in a totally new world now, and lawsuits by the government for State crimes are very different from those in which he has engaged heretofore against students of Trump University and contractors and subcontractors in his real estate projects. A US government case against Trump would threaten in a big way both his freedom and his accumulated billions.
And, as importantly, and as a new window into his psyche, Trump’s refusal to separate himself completely from the Trump empire not only puts himself at great risk, but does the same now for his children and grandchildren. In fact, he has so tightly woven his adult sons into all this (and his daughter and son-in-law) that, if the experts who have declared his plan unsatisfactory are correct, they have now been put in a position possibly and, I suspect, unwittingly to join him as co-defendants in future cases brought by the US government.