The President-elect of the United States, Donald Trump, has signaled that he intends to use the presidency to extract profit for himself and his business interests. When pressed on this matter by the New York Times staff Trump stated that he was well within his rights to do so, and that nothing could be done to stop him.
Trump had a meeting at the headquarters of the New York Times, and after the meeting Trump’s comments were tweeted:
The law’s totally on my side, the president can’t have a conflict of interest.
The United States Congress is well within its rights to attempt to prosecute a sitting president, but if they are able to enact any charges against the president is another matter, because a president has the ability to issue pardons to any person for any reason — including himself. This means even if Trump is found doing something wrong, he can merely issue himself a pardon and the legal road ends there. New York Times Reporter Maggie Haberman Tweeted Trump’s comments during their meeting:
In theory I could run my business perfectly and then run the country perfectly. There’s never been a case like this.
Trump has defended his actions and says the American people have no problem if he makes money while he is president, and said by electing him the people have signed off on such a fact. Trump tweeted:
Prior to the election it was well known that I have interests in properties all over the world.Only the crooked media makes this a big deal!
There may not be precedent for a U.S. President using his office to personally profit, but that does not mean the opponents of Trump will take his plan lying down. The next four years are sure to be a dogfight both legislatively and in the court system.