Sen. Elizabeth Warren and another top Democratic lawmaker on Wednesday urged the Government Accountability Office to conduct a review of President-elect Donald Trump's cabinet and White House transition, calling the progression chaotic and charging that it was rife with conflicts and violations of protocol.
"Mr. Trump's apparent conflicts of interest-and his behavior during the campaign and after his election-· raise questions about the use of taxpayer funds during the transition, and about the decisions made during the transition that will affect federal government policies under the Trump Administration," according to a letter submitted by Warren and Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., to the GAO.
Warren has not shied from criticizing Trump or his early cabinet secretary picks in the wake of the historic election earlier this month. Last week she urged Trump to reverse his decision to pick Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., to serve as Attorney General. With Wednesday's letter, Warren and Cummings sought to put a spotlight on comments made by Trump's attorney, Michael Cohen, earlier this month about how the president-elect's business holdings will be placed in a blind trust with his three oldest children put in charge. Warren and Cummings cited a section of the Ethics in Government Act noting that an officer or employee "involved in the management or control of a trust" not be a "relative of any interested party."
Norman Eisen, a former special assistant and counsel to President Barack Obama for ethics and government reform, said Warren and Cummings are correct in raising concerns about how a blind trust should not have family relations as trustees, adding that what Trump is suggesting isn't really a blind trust. "Every president who has had a blind trust since [former president Jimmy] Carter have used independent trustees with no familial relationships," Eisen said. "If the childhood best friend not to mention the child of the beneficiary is a trustee it doesn't work. How can Trump can honestly take his oath of office? How can he agree to uphold constitution?"