teaser post by Richard Painter- full article at link at bottom
In recent years, the United States has experienced an unprecedented number of financial conflicts of interest in its executive and legislative branches. Thanks to recent reporting by The Wall Street Journal, we now know how bad financial conflicts of interest are in the federal judiciary. According to the newspaper’s report, 131 federal judges broke the law by participating in 685 cases in which they had a financial interest, chiefly because of their holdings in individual stocks. This is a violation of the disqualification statute for United States judges prohibiting them from deciding cases in which they have a financial interest.
We have an ethical crisis across all three branches of government because those holding high office have been unwilling to divest from assets that conflict with their official duties.
I was among those in 2016 who raised alarm over the refusal of candidate Donald Trump, then President-elect Trump, to divest from the Trump Organization’s vast holdings in hotels, condominiums, resorts and golf courses the world over. Former Ambassador Norman Eisen, Harvard Law professor Laurence Tribe and I prepared a detailed analysis of the inevitable collision between Trump’s financial interests and the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution, which prohibits a federal official from receiving any profit or benefit from a foreign government.