House Oversight Committee Chair Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) is not worried about whether President Trump uses the office of the president in order to line his own pockets.
In an interview with ‘The Atlantic,’ the Utah Republican said that the reason he is unconcerned is that “he’s already rich,” referring to Trump. “He’s very rich. I don’t think that he ran for this office to line his pockets even more. I just don’t see it like that.”
Chaffetz, of course, ignored the obvious gaping hole in his argument: that if Trump were so disinterested in further profiting, then why has he so doggedly kept his ownership stake in his businesses in the face of all of the risks and questions they raise. He also seemed oblivious to the fact that many very wealthy people continue to do business and profit and become even wealthier.
The President has steadfastly refused to take the very same steps that have been taken by all presidents who have preceded him and even members of his own Cabinet. He has waved off concerns about his conflicts of interest, and refused to place his assets in a blind trust, as is typically done by presidents.
He has also refused — for what appears to be spurious reasons — to disclose his tax returns, breaking with over forty years of tradition by presidential candidates from all parties.
Since his election victory, his properties have attracted foreign officials and business leaders, and his businesses have announced that they are engaged in making deals in foreign countries. Fresh concerns arose in recent weeks after the Chinese government granted Trump 38 trademarks in the country, trademarks which Trump had been trying to obtain for at least a decade. The move has led to speculation that the Chinese granted the trademarks in order to curry favor with Trump in light of his presidency.
The flow of foreign funds into Trump’s businesses or deals with foreign countries are quickly moving Trump toward a constitutional crisis, particularly as it concerns the emoluments clause of the Constitution which precludes U.S. officials from receiving foreign money.
Chaffetz was equally nonchalant about Trump’s son in law, Jared Kushner, whose family was exploring a $400 million deal with a Chinese company until the potential deal was made public forcing the parties to scrap it. The deal also flies in the face of Chaffetz argument that rich people are not really trying to further enrich themselves.
“I don’t see how that affects the average American and their taxpayer dollars,” Chaffetz said. “Just the fact that a staff person’s family is making money? It’s not enough.”