Top Bush ethics lawyer: Omitting countries that do business with the Trump Organisation from the travel ban is 'a very serious conflict of interest'

Trump’s new executive order temporarily banning travel from several majority-Muslim nations has a few difference from the previous ban that was halted by the courts. However, like the original executive order, the new ban omits countries from the list of banned nations in which the Trump Organisation does business or has pursued deals.

In an interview with Business Insider, George W. Bush’s top ethics lawyer Richard Painter says that this omission is a “very serious conflict of interest.”

Following is a transcript of the video.

Well, I think this is a very serious problem that the six countries to which the travel ban applies are all countries that are quite poor and do not have financial dealings with the Trump Organisation. This is a very serious conflict of interest and where it’s gonna come up is when the travel ban is challenged in court as lacking a reasonable basis.

Lawyers for plaintiffs who want to challenge the travel ban are going to argue, and I think have a very good argument, that this was an arbitrary order, that it does not have any link to the national interest, because first, the countries where a lot of terrorists have come from are not on the list, and the countries on the list have sent few, if any, people to the United States who have committed acts of terror, and furthermore, the countries that are doing business with the Trump Organisation are not on the list and that’s not a legitimate basis on which to put a list together for countries that are going to be subject to a travel ban.

So, this is going to create serious constitutional due process issues for the government when they litigate to defend the travel ban, and that’s gonna be on top of, of course, the first amendment free exercise of religion claims that are gonna be made because there is still abundant evidence that this travel ban is targeted at Muslims.

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