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ACLU files legal request demanding details on Donald Trump’s potential conflicts of interest

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The American Civil Liberties Union filed a legal request with several government agencies on Thursday demanding details on Donald Trump’s potential conflicts of interest related to the extensive business affairs of the incoming U.S. president and his family.

The request, made under the Freedom of Information Act, demands that the agencies to turn over documents that shed light on any of Trump’s actual or potential conflicts of interest and seeks details concerning regulations on divestment of financial interests and prohibitions on nepotism.

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The request on the eve of his inauguration marked the first salvo in what promises to be a contentious relationship between the rights group and Trump.

“We have serious concerns that Donald Trump will be in violation of the Constitution on Day One,” ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero said in an interview. “He has taken anemic steps to address the real questions around his businesses, his family’s business interests and his role now as president of the United States.”

Trump, a wealthy real estate developer, said on Jan. 11 he would maintain ownership of his global business empire but hand off control to his two oldest sons while president. The Trump Organization will not enter into any new overseas deals, his legal adviser Sheri Dillon said.

Trump raised nepotism concerns by naming his daughter Ivanka Trump’s husband, Jared Kushner, to a senior advisory role in the White House.

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The ACLU’s legal request demands emails, legal opinions, memos and other communications drafted since Nov. 9, the day after Trump was elected, from agencies including the U.S. Office of Government Ethics, the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel and the General Services Administration. It also seeks all communications to and from the presidential transition team.

The ACLU vowed an aggressive posture toward the new Trump administration, committing to hire an extra 100 employees to mount possible legal challenges in the areas of abortion and birth control, immigration, government openness, free speech and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights.

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Using a flood of donations made since Election Day, it also said it has created a fund that now stands at $47 million to fight any civil rights violations by the Trump administration.

(Reporting by Andrew Chung; Editing by Will Dunham)

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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John Oliver cites Donald Trump’s final offer for Greenland: ‘$200 and I’ll throw in Don Jr.’

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"Last Week Tonight" host John Oliver's favorite highlight of the week was, of course, President Donald Trump's decision that he wanted to buy Greenland.

In his opener Sunday, the HBO host said that he wasn't all that surprised given Trump's track record.

"Of course, he f*cking did. Of course, he did. Greenland is icy, distant and autonomous is exactly Trump's type," Oliver said, showing a photo of Trump with the first lady.

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Florida teacher removed after bizarre rant about students not standing for the pledge

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Students were faced with a white-board rant in a classroom attacking anyone not standing up for the Pledge of Allegiance.

The moment went viral locally on Thursday after students posted Daniel Goodman‘s “inappropriate” message to students at First Coast High School in Duval County, Florida, The Atlanta Black Star reported.

“THINK: We had about a half million Americans die in our Civil War, which was largely to get rid of slavery. There are no longer separate water fountains and bathrooms in Jacksonville for ‘white’ and ‘colored,’ as Mr. Goodman remembers from the 1960?s. We had an amendment to the U.S. Constitution allowing women the right to vote. We have had a Black president. The superintendent of Duval Schools is a Black woman. Mr. Fluent, our principal, replaced a Black man. Mr. Simmons, who now is a DC PS admninistrator.”

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Angry Minnesota farmer bashes ‘insulting’ Trump comments that ‘we’re great patriots’ during his trade war

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President Donald Trump has insulted at least one Minnesota farmer by his claim that farmers are "great patriots" who want him to continue his trade fight against China.

"This wound is self-inflicted, by our president," said Gary Wertish, who is the Minnesota Farm Bureau president. "We definitely agreed with it in the beginning. But it doesn’t appear that there’s a plan B. Some of the callous comments come, especially from the president, you know, that farmers are 'winning,' we’re 'great patriots,' that’s very insulting. That’s coming from someone who never has faced the challenges of a family farmer. I go into the bank and tell the lender I can’t make the payment because we lost our market? The banker is going to tell me you don’t have to make your payment because you’re a patriot."

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