Opinion: Congressional oversight can address Donald Trump’s possible conflicts of interest

Donald Trump
Donald Trump greets a guest at a grand-opening ceremony last month at Trump’s new hotel in Washington.
(Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images)

To the editor: Although conflict of interest is often in the mind of the news media, perhaps we need to re-examine the tenet of this concept since it was not ingrained in our history. (“Trump the president vs. Trump the businessman: Can he juggle both?” Nov. 22)

Both George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were rather wealthy landowners and businessmen prior to and during their terms as president without any widespread questioning of their integrity or propriety. The current demand on total separation of business and state would have precluded both from the presidency.

Instead of demanding a total separation, it may be possible to oversee such conflict by setting up a bipartisan congressional committee to scrutinize a president’s business activities while at office. The current expectation mostly favors career politicians, whose primary goal is getting reelected, and discourages any successful businessman from running. 

John T . Chiu, Newport Beach



To the editor: Great. Trump meets with Indian businessman who invested in his projects, and his daughter Ivanka goes on a marketing spree to sell the bracelet she wore during an interview. 

And they accused Hillary Clinton of pay-to-play.

Oh, I’m not looking forward to the next four years. I’m embarrassed already.


Barry Davis, Agoura Hills

Follow the Opinion section on Twitter @latimesopinion and Facebook

Get our weekly Opinion newsletter