CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Wednesday hammered House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz over Donald Trump’s potential conflicts of interest, at one point reminding the Republican leader that his responsibility is to serve as a check-and-balance for the president.
Chaffetz responded to a question about conflicts inherent in the president’s sprawling business empire by insisting, “the president is exempt from conflicts of interest, so it’s kind of a non-issue,” adding Trump has promised to “wall … off” his business interests while president.
“What about the emolument clause of the U.S. Constitution,” Blitzer asked, referring to a clause some Constitutional scholars interpret to mean Trump is forbidden from taking any money from a foreign state.
“I know it’s surprising and frustrating to Democrats, but the president is exempt from these conflicts of interest,” Chaffetz repeated.
“But he’s not exempt from the emoluments clause, is he?” Blitzer pressed.
Chaffetz argued he refused to go on a “fishing expedition that the Democrats want us to go into,” adding the public understood what they were getting into when the “overwhelmingly” elected Trump into office.
“You’re the chairman of this Oversight Committee that’s looking at the executive branch of the U.S. government,” Blitzer reminded Chaffetz, adding “the President of the United States potentially could be in violation of the U.S. Constitution.”
“I just don’t see it like that Wolf,” Chaffetz replied. “I just don’t.”
Chaffetz argued that he never “did this type of investigation on Barack Obama, I never did it on Hillary Clinton,” adding there’s “nothing to suggest that [Trump] is profiteering in an unordinary way from the fact that he’s President of the United States.”
The House Oversight Committee chairman said he would probe any conflict that “rises to the surface.”
“I’m just not going to go on a fishing expedition,” he said before explaining what he believes to be the driving force behind concerns about Trump’s potential conflicts-of-interest.
“It’s Democrats with their heads exploding wanting to see this because they cant believe that Donald Trump is actually president of the United States,” Chaffetz opined, adding, “I know what their motivation is.”
“I think we’re going to leave it on that note,” Blitzer replied. “But I just want to point out that your committee is designed to be a sort of check and balance on the executive branch. The Oversight Committee, that’s what it’s called.”
Watch the video below, via CNN:
‘No sound basis’: Georgetown law professor explains why Alan Dershowitz will crumble under Senate questioning
Georgetown law professor John Mikhail suggested on Sunday that the portion of President Donald Trump's defense which is being covered by Alan Dershowitz to fail because it has "no sound basis" in history and law.
"There is no sound basis for Alan Dershowitz to claim that abuse of power is not an impeachable offense. In addition to being at odds with common sense, this claim is contradicted by a clear and consistent body of historical evidence," Mikhail stated.
The law professor cited the impeachment of Warren Hastings in the 1780s.
"Some of the best evidence comes from the case of Warren Hastings, which informed the drafting Art. II, Sec 4," Mikhail wrote. "The fact that he was not guilty of treason, but still deserved to be impeached, was a major reason 'other high crimes and misdemeanors' was added to the Constitution."
Ex-White House aide describes Trump’s abusive tantrums when he doesn’t get his way: ‘Not normal at all’
Appearing on MSNBC on Sunday afternoon, former Donald Trump advisor Omarosa Manigault Newman backed up assertions in the book " A Very Stable Genius" that the president is prone to tantrums when he doesn't get his way and becomes abusive to staffers and cabinet members alike.
Speaking with host Alex Witt, Omarosa -- who wrote an insider's account of life in the White House after she was unceremoniously fired -- said there was little in the new book that surprised her.
Digging into her Oval Office days, the former adviser and longtime Trump associate described the president's "zero to 200" screaming jags when displeased.
Ex-Bush aide admits GOP would have removed Obama if he did ‘one tenth of what Trump has done’
A former strategist for former President George W. Bush accused Republican lawmakers of hypocrisy on Sunday for for failing to honestly consider the impeachment of President Donald Trump.
Matthew Dowd, a campaign strategist-turned-media-analyst, made the remarks in a tweet on Sunday.
"Deep in their hearts the Republicans in Congress know that if Obama had done one tenth of what President Trump has done they would have voted to impeach and convict him," Dowd wrote. "And Fox News would have been cheering them on. And Trump would have been pushing for it from the sidelines."
Deep in their hearts The republicans in Congress know that if Obama had done one tenth of what president trump has done they would have voted to impeach and convict him. And Fox News would have been cheering them on. And trump would have been pushing for it from the sidelines.