Dan Janison Melville. N.Y. Tuesday January 26, 2010. Daniel Janison,

Dan Janison has been a columnist at Newsday since 2007.

As this campaign escalates, both presidential candidates will face the question of how they’d avoid financial conflicts of interest if elected.

The answers will largely rest with the nominees themselves, since the legal boundaries for the nation’s chief executive look fuzzy.

Executive-branch employees are barred by criminal statute from dealing officially with matters in which they have financial interests. But the Congressional Research Service says this law “expressly excludes the president and vice president.”

That means if Donald Trump wins and becomes the first billionaire in the White House, he could keep a hand in steering the course of his various private ventures.

In a recent disclosure, Trump reported that he is a member, director, chairman or trustee in 542 different entities. That’s up from 515, marking a net increase that occurred while he was running for president, according to Bloomberg News.

Eight months before he intends to be inaugurated, Trump gives no sign of detaching himself from his private ventures.

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Trump fans say he is not in politics for the money. Maybe so, but he still displays a habit of selling. One post-primary news conference turned into an infomercial where Trump showed off his brand-name ties and steaks.

And not all his dealings are an open book. Trump’s true net worth for years has proved elusive and some of his business actions prompted attacks during the primaries, including his casino bankruptcies and the defunct “Trump University.”

There is precedent for a billionaire in office: former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. He agreed early on with the city’s conflicts board to limit involvement with his company. If Trump plans to make a similar pledge, we have yet to hear it.

Democrat Hillary Clinton’s wealth would not nearly match Trump’s. Just the same, serious questions should await her and ex-president Bill Clinton as they chase a White House return.

The New York-based Clinton Foundation is involved in various enterprises involving many millions of dollars.

Last year, published reports detailed how a group of Russian businessmen involved in cornering much of the world uranium market became major donors, raising questions of how that sat with Hillary Clinton’s former role as secretary of state.

Personal wealth has proved a politically dicey matter for candidate Clinton, if only in a different way then her likely Republican opponent.

She claimed in June 2014 that when the couple departed Washington the last time, they were “dead broke,” prompting derision. The following month she said in a televised interview: “I regret it. It was inartful. It was accurate. But we are so successful and we are so blessed by the success we’ve had.”

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In her latest disclosure statement, Clinton reveals she gave six paid speeches totaling nearly $1.5 million last year, the largest one delivered to eBay for $315,000. Bill Clinton gave 22 paid speeches last year for $5.25 million, 11 of them after his wife became a candidate. His biggest moneymakers were UBS and Apollo Global Management.

She also made more than $5 million in royalties from her book “Hard Choices.”

Hard or easy, the next president will have some big personal financial decisions to make.