conflicts of interest | WOSU Radio

conflicts of interest

Is Trump profiting off the presidency?

It's a question that has dogged President Trump since he first took office, and it is gathering momentum again, even as the impeachment saga and Trump's dealings with Ukraine dominate the headlines.

A trio of lawsuits claiming that Trump's business dealings are violating the Constitution have been ping-ponging in federal courts for months, but all three cases are now advancing to critical stages.

Updated at 7:36 p.m. ET

A New York judge has ruled that President Trump must pay $2 million in damages to settle claims that the Trump Foundation misused funds. The money will go to a group of charities, and the foundation is in the process of dissolving.

President Trump and the U.S. Air Force are trying to tamp down questions about conflicts of interest that erupted over stays by Air Force personnel at Trump's luxury golf resort in Turnberry, Scotland.

The House oversight committee is investigating, and Air Force spokesman Brig. Gen. Edward Thomas says the Air Force is reviewing "all guidance pertaining to selection of airports and lodging accommodations during international travels."

A top U.S. Department of the Interior appointee who pushed to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil leasing is taking a job with an oil company seeking to develop a major project in Alaska.

Joe Balash, an assistant secretary at the department who oversaw the Bureau of Land Management, left his job last week. On Wednesday he announced his new position as senior vice president for external affairs with Oil Search, a Papua New Guinea-based company that first expanded into Alaska in 2017.

Updated at 1:15 p.m. ET

A constitutional challenge to President Trump's continued ownership of his businesses has been ordered dismissed by a federal appeals court.

The case was brought by the attorneys general of Washington, D.C., and Maryland, arguing that Trump had violated the domestic and foreign emoluments clauses of the U.S. Constitution by accepting money from state and foreign governments via his Washington hotel and business empire.

Updated at 5:45 p.m. ET

Presidential adviser Kellyanne Conway has repeatedly criticized Democratic candidates in her official capacity in violation of the Hatch Act and should lose her job, according to the U.S. Office of Special Counsel.

The OSC, which oversees federal personnel issues, issued a stinging report Thursday, calling Conway "a repeat offender."

"Let's make a deal," said Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y.
"You're on," agreed Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas.

The two lawmakers who have often been at odds found common ground in a place that often highlights polarizing opinions: Twitter. That's where Cruz and Ocasio-Cortez vowed to set aside their differences and work on new lobbying restrictions for lawmakers. Now an unlikely coalition is forming around their joint effort.

At a time when House Democrats are battling the president for his tax returns, new disclosures provide some basic information about his finances. For instance: His income was at least in the hundreds of millions last year.

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost is creating a new office to keep track of any potential conflicts of interest among the 400 attorneys working in the AG’s office.

Updated at 8:58 p.m. ET

The House Judiciary Committee launched a broad investigation into President Trump's inner circle Monday, targeting figures who have worked in his administration and for the Trump Organization businesses.

This story is published in partnership with The Center for Public Integrity

Rich businessman Wilbur Ross' promise to divest millions of dollars' worth of assets upon becoming Commerce Department secretary drew warm praise in 2017, even from Democrats.

Former Put-in-Bay mayor Bernard "Mack" McCann pleaded guilty Friday to two misdemeanor counts of conflict of interest in a public contract in a deal with prosecutors, according to the Associated Press. 

McCann was indicted last year on six counts related to conflict of interest in public business. He resigned from his position on Wednesday but denied wrongdoing in his resignation letter. AP reports he agreed to leave office as part of his plea deal.

Interim mayor and former council president Jessica Dress says the news of McCann's resignation didn't come as a surprise.

President Trump's travels to his private club Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Fla., give the chief executive a chance to unwind, hang out with friends and play golf. But that presidential rest and recreation comes with a cost.

Updated at 6 p.m. ET

President Trump intervened in a big federal building project to help protect business for his hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue, a group of House Democrats alleged on Thursday.

Trump wants to demolish and rebuild the FBI's headquarters, the Democrats say, to preserve the site's government ownership and deny any potential competitors to the Trump International Hotel at the Old Post Office Pavilion up the street.

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.

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