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What are the allegations of corruption against Joe Biden and Donald Trump? Show more Show less
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With allegations of corruption flying from both sides during the final presidential debate, shady activities of both candidates are drawing attention as election day approaches. But what are the accusations of corruption facing the two candidates?

Corruption allegations against Donald Trump Show more Show less

Donald Trump has used the presidency to install members of his family to key Whitehouse positions and to protect his business interests. He also avoids paying taxes in the US.
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Donald Trump's business activities represent profitable conflicts of interest

Donald Trump has not given up his business interests whilst president, and has received millions of dollars from foreign sources, including from many states with which the US is politically involved with. This represents a clear conflict of interest.

The Argument

Donald Trump, unlike presidents before him, has retained ownership of many of his businesses and continues to profit from them. It is reported that he earned $73 million from foreign sources during his first two years as president - he has business interests in over 30 countries.[1] These earnings are from his golf resorts in Scotland and Ireland, as well as from states where the US has significant foreign policy interests - he received $3 million from the Philippines, $2.3 million from India and $1 million from Turkey.[2] Officially, Trump has handed the management of his businesses to his sons Eric and Donald Jr., who have pursued opportunities around the world, including in Scotland, Indonesia and India.[3] Trump and his sons have also used taxpayers money on travel and security on business visits to Trump properties. The problem here is that by having so many business interests around the world, Trump might be tempted to act in his private business interests, not those of the American people who elected him. Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law owns a 25% stake in Cadre, which benefitted from tax breaks introduced in 2017.[3] The fact that the Trump family continues to earn millions of dollars whilst in office suggests that private interests are a driver of policy. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) have counted over 3,000 conflicts of interest involving Donald Trump.[4]

Counter arguments

There is no legal obligation for Trump, as president, to give up his business interests. Trump said “the law’s totally on my side, the president can’t have a conflict of interest”.[5] It is only convention that presidents give up their involvement with private businesses, so Trump has not done anything wrong in handing operations over to family members.

Proponents

Premises

Rejecting the premises

References

  1. https://www.vox.com/2020/10/21/21525326/trump-family-hunter-biden-corruption-explained
  2. https://www.vox.com/2020/9/28/21459803/trump-taxes-nyt-foreign-business-national-security
  3. https://www.vox.com/21527215/hunter-biden-jared-ivanka-eric-don-junior
  4. https://www.citizensforethics.org/reports-investigations/crew-reports/president-trumps-3400-conflicts-of-interest/
  5. https://www.politico.com/story/2016/11/trump-the-president-cant-have-a-conflict-of-interest-231760
This page was last edited on Thursday, 29 Oct 2020 at 12:39 UTC

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