Use of public office for private gain

An employee shall not use or permit the use of Government position to endorse any product, service, or enterprise

public office for private gainWay back in early 2018, the Washington Monthly noted A Year in Trump Corruption, indicating every time the man profited off the presidency.

The piece cited the U.S. Constitution twice. One was Article I, Section 9. “No person holding any office of profit or trust under [the United States], shall, without the consent of the Congress, accept of any present, emolument, office, or title, of any kind whatever, from any king, prince, or foreign state.”

There is also the Code of Federal Regulations. 5 CFR § 2635.702 covers Use of public office for private gain. To wit:

B. Appearance of governmental sanction. Except as otherwise provided in this part, an employee shall not use or permit the use of his Government position or title or any authority associated with his public office in a manner that could reasonably be construed to imply that his agency or the Government sanctions or endorses his personal activities or those of another.  

C. Endorsements. An employee shall not use or permit the use of his Government position or title or any authority associated with his public office to endorse any product, service, or enterprise except:

(1) In furtherance of statutory authority to promote products, services or enterprises; or
(2) As a result of documentation of compliance with agency requirements or standards or as the result of recognition for achievement given under an agency program of recognition for accomplishment in support of the agency’s mission.


Remember back in 2017? Kellyanne Conway Promotes Ivanka Trump Brand, Raising Ethics Concerns. Yet he looked the other way, which the specific law technically allowed.

Or 2019? Trump plugs son’s book while accusing Bidens of self-dealing. “For the children of the politically powerful, personal business and public dealings can often be indistinguishable, especially when private projects depend on foreign governments that are looking to bolster ties with Washington.”

Or last month: Ivanka Trump defends Goya post that watchdogs call unethical.

I point these things out, not because they’re new phenomena, but because they are not. Regularly before the election, I want to note why IMPOTUS is unfit for office. It’s certainly not because he’s a Republican. Nor is it because I disagree with him, though Allah knows I do. It’s because he and his family are grifters.

Earlier this year, in a piece about impeachment, I wrote: “Frankly, I wish the House had gone after the emoluments issue. He may have been guilty of that on January 20, 2017, when he failed to put his businesses in a blind trust and maintained controlling interests.”

To paraphrase Wayne and Garth, “He’s not worthy.”

Lest We Forget again

“Early in [his] term, McSweeney’s editors began to catalog the head-spinning number of misdeeds coming from his administration. We called this list a collection of his cruelties, collusions, and crimes

“It felt urgent then to track them, to ensure these horrors — happening almost daily — would not be forgotten. This election year, amid a harrowing global health, civil rights, humanitarian, and economic crisis, we know it’s never been more critical to note these horrors, to remember them, and to do all in our power to reverse them. This list will be updated between now and the November 2020 Presidential election.”

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