Sen. Patty Murray asks ethics office to weigh in on pension fund involvement with Trump businesses


Trump’s refusal to fully divest from his companies is an ethical quagmire through and through. Now Sen. Patty Murray, the ranking Democratic member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, has identified yet another conflict of interest lurking in the mess: Public pension funds are investors in at least one Trump-branded property. Which means those pension funds are now paying Donald Trump.

Reuters reported on April 26 that public pension funds in at least seven U.S. states periodically send millions of dollars to an investment fund that owns the upscale Trump SoHo Hotel and Condominium in New York City and pays a Trump company to run it, according to a Reuters review of public records.

“Trump may be profiting from the retirement plans of millions of our nation’s public servants,” Senator Patty Murray of Washington state wrote in a letter to Walter Shaub, the director of the Office of Government Ethics, citing the Reuters report.

Walter Shaub’s office is a busy place these days; since the early days of the transition, the Trump campaign essentially ignored their ethical advice and offers of assistance, ignored their subsequent warnings about ethical boundaries that they should not cross, and now that those boundaries have been crossed are blocking the agency from investigating their ethical dodges. Which is, of course, evidence that the Trump team is not simply ignorant of federal ethics rules, but is both aware of the rules and aware that they are violating them. You know: crooked.

So we’ll see if Shaub even has time to respond to this latest sub-sub-sub-catastrophe.

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