A US fund manager has terminated its contract with a law firm, saying that the company enabled Donald Trump to continue with massive conflicts between his business empire and his public role.
In a scathing rebuke of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, which also advises the US president, Wallace Global Fund attacked the law firm for signing-off on Mr Trump’s son running his father’s multi-billion dollar organisation.
In a letter sent late last week, the investment company's chairman, H Scott Wallace, said that Morgan Lewis partner Sheri Dillon had handed the president “an unprecedented invitation to corruption and an assault on our democracy".
Mr Trump’s business operations, which include a global network of hotels, casinos, resorts and other properties, have been put into a trust, run by his son, Eric. The former Apprentice host has said this means that they are effectively separated from him and present no conflict.
Mr Wallace strongly disagrees. The arrangement presents merely the “illusion” of protection and “the idea of a “trust” run by Trump’s sons is a fig leaf”, he said, adding that it was “painfully obvious that Trump is using his office for personal gain”.
Mr Wallace also pointed out that the trust had been found to be “meaningless” by the Director of the Office of Government Ethics, and “absurd” and “wholly deficient” as well as a reason to impeach the president, by US research group the Brookings Institution.
“Americans deserve a president of undivided loyalty,” Mr Wallace wrote. “Your firm has denied them that. We cannot be complicit in that.”
The fund manager, who says he prides himself on his firm’s ethical approach to investing, listed a host of ways in which he said the President is profiting from being in the White House.
Just days after Mr Trump assured Chinese premier Xi Jinping that the US supports the “one China” policy, Chinese courts granted the Trump Organisation 38 trademarks. Mr Wallace said these are a “valuable license to commercialize his name-brand hotels and golf clubs”, in the country.
The US Constitution forbids any elected official from receiving anything of value from a foreign government.
The letter also pointed to Mr Trump’s Washington DC hotel, which Mr Wallace said started aggressively courting business from the diplomatic community, securing major bookings from governments including Azerbaijan, Bahrain and Kuwait.
The controversial orders Donald Trump has already issued
The controversial orders Donald Trump has already issued
1/9 Trump and the media
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer takes questions during the daily press briefing
2/9 Trump and the Trans-Pacific Partnership
Union leaders applaud US President Donald Trump for signing an executive order withdrawing the US from the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations during a meeting in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington DC. Mr Trump issued a presidential memorandum in January announcing that the US would withdraw from the trade deal
3/9 Trump and the Mexico wall
A US Border Patrol vehicle sits waiting for illegal immigrants at a fence opening near the US-Mexico border near McAllen, Texas. The number of incoming immigrants has surged ahead of the upcoming Presidential inauguration of Donald Trump, who has pledged to build a wall along the US-Mexico border. A signature campaign promise, Mr Trump outlined his intention to build a border wall on the US-Mexico border days after taking office
4/9 Trump and abortion
US President Donald Trump signs an executive order as Chief of Staff Reince Priebus looks on in the Oval Office of the White House. Mr Trump reinstated a ban on American financial aide being granted to non-governmental organizations that provide abortion counseling, provide abortion referrals, or advocate for abortion access outside of the United States
5/9 Trump and the Dakota Access pipeline
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6/9 Trump and 'Obamacare'
Nancy Pelosi who is the minority leader of the House of Representatives speaks beside House Democrats at an event to protect the Affordable Care Act in Los Angeles, California. US President Donald Trump's effort to make good on his campaign promise to repeal and replace the healthcare law failed when Republicans failed to get enough votes. Mr Trump has promised to revisit the matter
7/9 Donald Trump and 'sanctuary cities'
US President Donald Trump signed an executive order in January threatening to pull funding for so-called "sanctuary cities" if they do not comply with federal immigration law
8/9 Trump and the travel ban
US President Donald Trump has attempted twice to restrict travel into the United States from several predominantly Muslim countries. The first attempt, in February, was met with swift opposition from protesters who flocked to airports around the country. That travel ban was later blocked by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The second ban was blocked by a federal judge a day before it was scheduled to be implemented in mid-March
SANDY HUFFAKER/AFP/Getty Images
9/9 Trump and climate change
US President Donald Trump sought to dismantle several of his predecessor's actions on climate change in March. His order instructed the Environmental Protection Agency to reevaluate the Clean Power Plan, which would cap power plant emissions
Mr Wallace also criticised Mr Trump’s relationship with Russia and the fact that state-owned bank Industrial and Commercial Bank of China is the largest tenant in Trump Tower and the lease will be up for renewal during the current presidential term.
The Washington Post recently revealed that Eric Trump plans to give his father quarterly updates on how the Trump Organisation is performing.
“Yeah, on the bottom line, profitability reports and stuff like that, but you know, that’s about it,” Eric Trump told the Post. “My father and I are very close… I talk to him a lot. We’re pretty inseparable.”Reuse content