In January, Trump made a spectacle of separating himself from his business interests, but it’s becoming more apparent that he has no intention of doing that. The agreement Trump made, trusting the company to Donald Jr. and Eric, has already been violated by Donald Jr. and Trump. According to the trust document, trustees “shall not provide any report to Donald J. Trump on the holdings and sources of income of the Trust.” Yet Donald Jr. recently admitted to Forbes that he would update the President regularly.
But there is another clause in the document that is even more problematic than just Donald Jr. telling his dad how the family business is going. A change to the trust from February 10th—after he took office—says that the trust ““shall distribute net income or principal to Donald J. Trump at his request.” Now, Trump can use the money whenever he wants, even as he is in office, and there’s no way to know if he does.
At first glance, this might not seem like a terrible thing, but it’s actually a way for him to keep an eye on his company. He can withdraw net income, which would provide information on the 400 businesses’ workings.
There is also the fact that even as President, Trump could use the money as he sees fits. Frederick J. Tansill, a trust attorney who reviewed the documents for ProPublica, called the language “incredibly broad.”