From the WaPo, over the weekend:
Before taking office, President Trump promised to place his assets in a trust designed to erect a wall between him and the businesses that made him wealthy.
But newly released documents show that Trump himself is the sole beneficiary of the trust and that it is legally controlled by his oldest son and a longtime employee.
The documents, obtained through a public records request by the investigative news service ProPublica and first reported by the New York Times, also show that Trump retains the legal power to revoke the trust at any time.
The documents were filed to the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board in Washington to alert the board that oversees liquor licenses at Trump’s D.C. hotel of the change in the business.
The documents show that Donald Trump Jr., the president’s eldest son, and Allen Weisselberg, the Trump Organization’s chief financial officer, were placed in legal control of the trust on Jan. 19, one day before Trump took office.
But they outline that the trust’s purpose is “to hold assets for the exclusive benefit of Donald J. Trump,” who “has the power to revoke the Trust.”
The records provide documentary evidence of what ethics experts have been warning about since before Trump took office.
While Trump has promised he will observe a separation between his business and the presidency, he retains ownership of the business and will personally benefit if the business profits from decisions made by his government.
Further, the business will be run by family members who remain the most trusted members of Trump’s inner circle, raising questions about whether Trump’s promises to limit communication about the business’s fate are realistic.
“What I’m going to be doing is my two sons, who are right here, Don and Eric, are going to be running the company,” Trump had said at a news conference shortly before taking office. “They are going to be running it in a very professional manner. They’re not going to discuss it with me.”
Less than two weeks after returning to their New York City home following their father’s inauguration, Donald Trump Jr. and his brother Eric Trump, also assigned to run the business, were back in Washington this week to attend the announcement of Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court.