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Ethics office is asked to assess Trump's deals

Written by The Associated Press | Mar 13, 2017 1:08 PM
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Supporters including one wearing a President Donald Trump mask walk past Trump Tower during a March 4 Trump rally on Fifth Avenue, Saturday, March 4, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Washington, D.C. -- Democratic Sen. Bob Casey is asking a government ethics office to assess whether President Donald Trump's business dealings make his administration vulnerable to conflicts of interest.

In a letter to the Office of Government Ethics, the Pennsylvania lawmaker says Trump's refusal to divest from his companies has exposed the administration to conflicts of interest on an ``unprecedented scale.''

Casey asks whether any of Trump's foreign deals could violate the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution. The clause prohibits U.S. officeholders from accepting gifts from foreign countries.

The director of the ethics office, Walter Shaub, strongly criticized Trump for not divesting earlier this year. Shaub said Trump was breaking decades of tradition by presidents who set up blind trusts for their assets.

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