With the Electoral College vote complete, Donald Trump now has the presidency firmly in hand. However, come inauguration day, he could be in violation of a federal law and quickly become impeachable.
In 2012, Congress passed the Stock Act, outlawing any president, member of Congress or senior executive branch official from using government knowledge for profit.
This poses a serious issue for Trump the moment he places his hand on a bible and officially swears in as the nation’s 45th president on January 20. If he uses any information learned as president to benefit his business interests, he could very well be close to committing a felony.
The Stock Act clearly states that a president cannot help friends and family members make money off information learned in the course of public duty.
“It’s the same as it applies to the American people,” Democratic New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand told The Huffington Post. Gillibrand was one of the Stock Act’s lead authors. “You cannot trade on nonpublic information. That is a criminal violation of the law.”
“The president, the vice president, Cabinet secretaries, all of them have to play by the same rules as every other American,” she added, “and that’s what the Stock Act ensures… If you tell people who work for you, or tell people you like or tell your best friend, that’s all insider trading.”
Because a president is constantly exposed to and involved with issues that have major economic repercussions, Trump’s numerous business interests could be the subject of a congressional investigation.
If Congress does in fact find a reason to impeach Trump, federal prosecutors could drag Trump to court unless his presumed successor, Indiana Governor Mike Pence, pardons him.
For now, Trump is declining to address such conflict-of-interest concerns until next month and has stated that his children will run his business, but so far has decided not to fully divest from his private interests.
Next, read about why the Dakota Access Pipeline — which Trump supposedly has invested in — is waiting for the inauguration to resume construction, before checking out why John McCain thinks Russia definitely interfered in the election.