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ACLU seeks Trump records in connection with potential conflicts of interest

[JURIST] The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) [advocacy website] filed [filing, PDF] a request under the Freedom of Information Act for "records pertaining to financial and other ethical conflicts of interest in connection with the presidential transition of President-Elect Donald J. Trump" on Friday. The ACLU is asking [ACLU report] for legal opinions, policy advisories, communications and a wide variety of additional documents relating to "ethics-related issues" of the new administration. Anthony Romero, the ACLU's executive director, has stated that "Trump took the oath, but he didn't take the steps necessary to ensure that he and his family's business interests comply with the Constitution and other federal statutes." Romero has also indicated that additional suits against Trump and the new administration are looming.

A number of bi-partisan experts have expressed concerns over potential ethical issues being faced by Trump. Two government ethics lawyers [WP report] who counseled both presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama have voiced concerns over Trump's refusal to disclose his tax returns which, they argue, leads to an inability to ensure the actions of the new administration will be conflict-free. Concerns have also been voiced over the more than 4,000 open lawsuits [USA Today report] involving Trump and his businesses. Trump's recent appointment of his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, has also raised questions [Business Insider report] concerning potential federal nepotism guidelines. Numerous US senators have also voiced concerns over Trump's Cabinet nominees [WP report], including reports that some nominees have failed to pay federal and state taxes, a factor which has caused nominees of previous administrations to withdraw their nomination.

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