conflicts of interest

Ohio Supreme Court chambers.
Dan Konik / Ohio Public Radio

Even though judicial races are considered nonpartisan in Ohio, judicial campaigns are usually funded with campaign contributions. A government watchdog group published a report saying that once they’re on the bench, judges don’t recuse themselves when hearing a case involving those donors.

About 200 Democrats in the House and Senate have won a judge's approval to go ahead with their anti-corruption lawsuit against President Trump.

U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan, in Washington, D.C., said the lawmakers have standing to sue Trump. They allege he violates the Foreign Emoluments Clause of the Constitution, as his hotels and other establishments around the world profit from spending and favors by foreign governments.

Airport destinations and departures video board
Pixabay

The ongoing federal investigation into former House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger raises questions about travel activities of lawmakers. Rosenberger has close ties with payday lending lobbyists who allegedly paid for some of his travel.

Updated at 5:00 p.m. ET

In a blow to President Trump, a federal judge says a lawsuit that alleges Trump's business interests violate the Constitution can proceed.

Federal District Judge Peter Messitte denied the Department of Justice's request to dismiss a case brought by the attorneys general of Maryland and the District of Columbia. The Emoluments Clause bars any president from personally profiting from his dealings with foreign governments — or even U.S. state governments.

Ivanka Trump is closing her fashion company, saying her commitments in helping her father in Washington — and the limits imposed on her business as a result — have left her with no other option.

"After 17 months in Washington, I do not know when or if I will ever return to the business," Ivanka Trump said in a statement, "but I do know that my focus for the foreseeable future will be the work I am doing here in Washington, so making this decision now is the only fair outcome for my team and partners."

Patrick DeWine

Ohio Supreme Court Justice Pat DeWine has stepped aside from a hot-button case over how Ohio calculated funding for ECOT, once the state’s largest online charter school.

Updated at 2:37 p.m. ET

New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood is suing the Donald J. Trump Foundation and its board of directors over what she calls "extensive and persistent violations of federal law," her office announced Thursday.

The directors of the foundation named in the suit are President Trump and three of his children: Donald J. Trump Jr., Ivanka Trump and Eric Trump.

The head of the Environmental Protection Agency is fending off multiple accusations that he misused taxpayer funds and maintained improper ties to companies regulated by the EPA.

The way some of President Trump's Cabinet officials tell it, their recent negative headlines haven't been about difficulties complying with federal ethics laws, but rather about "the optics."

Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin, in a House committee's hot seat last month after taking his wife on a government-funded trip to Europe, said, "I do recognize the optics of this are not good. I accept the responsibility for that."

Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Colo., questioning Shulkin, snapped back: "It's not the optics that are not good. It's the facts that are not good."

One regular part of White House press briefings these days is the update on corruption allegations in Trump's Cabinet.

Most recently, the questions have focused on Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin, who piggybacked a minivacation on taxpayer-paid travel to two conferences in Europe, and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, a gifted brain surgeon in trouble for ordering custom-made chairs, dining table and hutch for his office. They cost $31,000.

President Trump has picked a new chief for the Office of Government Ethics, seven months after the last confirmed head of the agency quit in frustration over his conflicts with the White House.

Patrick DeWine

A judicial panel will hold a hearing to determine whether Ohio Supreme Court Justice Patrick DeWine violated ethics rules when he participated in cases that involved his father, Attorney General Mike DeWine.

A federal district judge has dismissed a lawsuit alleging that President Trump is violating two anti-corruption provisions of the Constitution.

Judge George Daniels, in Manhattan, said the plaintiffs lack the necessary legal standing to sue. And he said the heart of the plaintiffs' case — the Constitution's Foreign Emoluments Clause — was something they couldn't even sue over.

The Foreign Emoluments Clause bars federal officials from taking gifts or rewards from foreign governments, unless Congress consents.

Good-government types may look askance, but Donald Trump now has a new place to cash in on his White House role.

The Trump Organization recently started a website, TrumpStore.com, to sell Trump-branded merchandise such as T-shirts, baseball caps and coin banks.

It's not to be confused with Trump's other website, DonaldJTrump.com. That site sells a lot of the same kind of merchandise, but its profits flow to Trump's presidential campaign.

Trump hotels are meant to exude a sense of luxury in some of the most exciting and exotic cities worldwide. Now the president's organization is due to open a new hotel — this time in the heart of the blues-soaked Mississippi Delta.

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