…we’re to understand that Trump has / had an investment ‘stake’ in DAPL right, and this has the superficial potential for conflict of interest or self-dealing…
Well, it does seem he liquidated his stakes in Energy Transfer and Phillips 66… so there’s no conflict now. But thing is, a tangible ‘conflict of interest / self-deal’ here, one manifested in reality, would by definition have to be made by an extraordinary act that serves / benefits Trump fairly uniquely.
This isn’t that, could not be that. If it comes to pass that Trump enables DAPL after Obama has hamstrung it, that’s just acting in accord with Republican ideology on energy. Which is to say, the act is not extraordinary and the act serves something far greater than Trump. So it’s not self-dealing.
But maybe the bigger fallacious thing here is this trope-ish picture we’re painting of Trump as ‘oil company investor’.
The story there sizes up Trump’s ETP and Phillips 66 holdings as being in the high 6 or low 7 figure range at various points… I looked up, I was curious…. The ETP partnership shares trade on the NYSE pretty stable such that the annualized dividend is about 12%, ie, pretty high. People, understand this: Trump is liquid asset poor generally, and what he does have in cash is managed opportunistically. I’m telling you, he was in these particular investments to be shareholder of record on quarterly dividend distribution dates, and then he got out. His disclosure docs happened to capture that investment as a matter of timing one time, but I’d bet he doesn’t really give a rip about ETP or Phillips 66. He has no long term interests in oil and gas that would benefit from policy manipulation.