Eisen: 'Trump Must Divest' From Business Interests or Be in Violation of Constitution on 'Day One'

Former ethics lawyers for the Obama and George W. Bush administrations discuss their call for Trump to cut ties with his business interests.
4:53 | 12/11/16

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Transcript for Eisen: 'Trump Must Divest' From Business Interests or Be in Violation of Constitution on 'Day One'
I'm joined now by ethics councils for our last two presidents. Norm -- for President Obama Richard painter for George W. Bush welcome to both of you. And this has only begin with you. You it's pretty clear the downturn is not gonna do best you heard Rand Paul say that they think it's unrealistic why do you think he must. Ed Donald trust trump must invest George because of his way ambush of domestic and international business relationships. They create a conflict of interest for him he's moved to admit. That there is a conflict of interest now and he needs to do something. Even though the law does not says the president does not come under the conflict of interest laws George the constitution. Has something called do you monuments clause that's just stop fancy eighteenth century word. For no. Foreign government payments and Donald Trump is collecting foreign government payments and other benefits throughout his business it is a direct. Violation of the constitution and unless he did best not just operations he must invest from all business interests are he will be in violation of the constitution. From day one even if he turns it over to the family is Stanley and executives. If he retains the ownership of the businesses and those businesses that take money from foreign governments. And transactions with foreign governments or corporations controlled by foreign governments he will be in violation of the constitution regardless of his magic businesses. It's about who all of them but will what's the what's the remedy here is only only the congress can take this on correct well there's going to be a lot of remedies he's also subject to other conflicts laws George the bribery laws are intended to prevent conflicts forget example he's subject to criminal law. He's subject to civil law he's going to be subject to litigation he's already in a lot of cases this is gonna come up an existing litigation and there's going to be new litigation. People are studying whether there's a cause of action. That competitors for example what happens if they're harmed by these foreign. Government payments he's going to be tainted by scandal. Congress hangs by just three Republican votes if he loses three Republicans you're gonna see investigations subpoenas. So he faces a lot of problems why gold there. Immediately you've got this issue of the hotel and watching the lease is held by the General Services Administration the president who picked ahead. Of the General Services Administration sees both tenant landlord. At the same time. We guess and that's one of the many situations where they're going to be conflicts of mattress they're National Labor Relations Board cases involving trump properties. And then with a broader conflicts of interest he owes hundreds of millions of dollars to banks. Weeks back to prop administration. To regulate the financial services sector. Are we gonna have another bubble or real estate prices go up along with bank stocks for a while until there's a crash. And everybody suffers because of it he's the focus on being president the president is not an innkeeper. He is not a celebrity talk show host her reality star host let somebody else to those jobs I think those bush is look at her job maybe he could take over the apprentice. And George has our Russia angle to all this because remember. We don't have Donald Trump's tax returns he did a very relatively summary 804 page campaign financial disclosure. One year of tax returns reportedly we've seen the pictures 121000 pages. And a tax returns are replete with his foreign interest including perhaps his Russian. Contrast that may be the reason he doesn't want to turn over his taxes. You've got to disclose partnership information names of partners custodians foreign accounts so Whitney knew rush out. Allegations coming to the floor once again the conclusion of the intelligence agencies we got to have those taxes to evaluate whether these conflicts. Go to the heart. Our most pressing national. Secure it appears that the direction is heading as he talked about is turning over the operations to his children to other executives. And setting up some kind of AA mechanism and go board perhaps in the White House Counsel's Office to review any possible conflicts as they come up deals that his children. May have why can't that work. What George the prom when that is that if he owns the business this. All of a complex remain with him regardless of who was managing the businesses he owns the company the foreign government pays money into the company. The percent thanks have a contract for a loan from the bank of China and he benefits from that lived in violation of the constitution it doesn't matter who's running the company's. And these firewalls aren't gonna work that isn't going to be an appropriate function for the White House Counsel's Office to be policing our walls within that the trump business organization. It won't work and a focus for him niece of being on being a good president he can't take these companies public or find private buyers. He can divert these companies to cash you'll have a couple of billion dollars he'd give solace to his kids give them a good start. And he can focus on me a good president that's what evidence we will be watching us in this region thank you both very much and I Stewart and we write that their powerhouse roundtable.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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