Quantcast
Connect with us

Trump could face severe consequences for his continuing violation the Constitution’s emoluments clauses

Published

on

- Commentary

Trump reversed his decision to host next June’s G-7 meeting of heads of state at Trump National Doral Miami because, he said, it would have been an impeachable offense and a violation of the Constitution’s Emoluments Clause.

No, that’s not the reason he gave. He said he reversed himself because of “Media & Democat Crazed and Irrational hostility.”

ADVERTISEMENT

In reality, Trump has been funneling government dollars into his own pockets ever since he was elected. The Doral deal was just too much even for his Republican enablers to stomach.

Since he’s been president, Trump has spent almost a third of his time at one or another of his resorts or commercial properties – costing taxpayers a bundle but giving those resorts incomparable publicity.

One of his golf resorts, Turnberry in Scotland, has gotten business from U.S. Air Force crews overnighting while their planes were refueled. In September, Vice President Pence stayed there for two nights at a cost to American taxpayers of nearly $600,000 in ground transportation fees alone.

Foreign governments seeking to curry his favor routinely check their officials and lobbyists into the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C.

Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s oceanfront resort in Palm Beach, charges its foreign government visitors up to five hundred and fifty dollars a night for their rooms, according to ProPublica.

ADVERTISEMENT

How does he get away with this?

Presidents of the United States are exempt from the federal conflict-of-interest statutes – a glaring omission that was never a problem before Trump exploited this loophole. To make matters worse, Trump has refused to put his assets into a blind trust, so he knows exactly how much he gains from these transactions.

Theoretically, the public is protected from Trump’s moneymaking by the Constitution, which strictly limits the “emoluments” – that is, a payment of money or anything else of value – a president can receive.

Article II, Section 1 says a president receives a salary while in office but “shall not receive within that Period any other Emolument from the United States.” Trump violates this clause every time taxpayer money finds its way into his pockets.

ADVERTISEMENT

And then there’s Article I, Section 9, which states that no federal officeholder can receive any “Emolument” from any foreign state. Trump violates this clause whenever he makes money from a foreign government.

History shows that the reason the Framers of the Constitution included these provisions wasn’t just to prevent a president from being bribed. It was also to prevent the appearance of bribes, and thereby maintain public trust in the presidency.

ADVERTISEMENT

The appearance if not reality of bribery continues to haunt  Trump. For example, when he decided to withdraw U.S. troops from the Turkish-Syrian border – a move that has led to the slaughter of Kurds, and opened the way for a resurgence of ISIS – it was far from clear whether he had in mind the interest of the United States or his own business interests. Trump Towers in Istanbul Turkey is his largest European property.

Clearly, Trump continues to violate the Constitution’s emoluments clauses. So how to hold him accountable? Three ways.

The first is through the federal courts. A lawsuit brought by the attorneys general of Maryland and the District of Columbia accuses Trump of violating the Constitution by holding a financial interest in the Washington hotel.

ADVERTISEMENT

Another brought be several plaintiffs allege that Trump’s businesses pose unfair competition.

A third lawsuit by 215 Democratic members of Congress seeks “the opportunity to cast a binding vote” on the issue, since the Constitution requires the president to obtain “the consent of Congress” before accepting any emolument.

But all these cases are moving through the courts at a slow pace—probably too slowly to stop Trump from lining his pockets this term of office.

The second way to hold Trump accountable is through impeachment, which has already begun in the House.

ADVERTISEMENT

Trump’s violation of the emoluments clause should be added to the likely grounds for impeachment already being investigated – seeking the help of a foreign power in an election, and obstruction of justice.

The third and most important way to hold Trump accountable occurs November 3, 2020.

That’s when the American public can stop Trump from making money off his presidency by voting him out of office.

ADVERTISEMENT

This article was originally published at RobertReich.org


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Here are 7 hilarious videos about wearing COVID-19 masks to send people who won’t wear them

Published

on

While late-night shows are off for a Summer break, Americans are glued to TikTok and Twitter for their humor and every folks have delivered.

The latest trend is to mock fools who refuse to wear masks. While many people who refuse to wear a mask tuck their tails and sulk as they walk away, some take it to a whole new level of fury. Those precious souls are being mocked and shamed all around the world.

Here are seven videos that are hilarious or adorable that encourage wearing masks during the COVID-19 pandemic:

Wearing a mask is like wearing a lifejacket.https://twitter.com/mattbooshell/status/1280933495674732544

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Ted Cruz mocked for tantrum about Gorsuch siding with Native American rights: ‘Way to channel Andrew Jackson’

Published

on

In a surprise move on Thursday, Trump-appointed Justice Neil Gorsuch sided with Native American rights, ruling that Oklahoma must honor a treaty granting tribal sovereignty over much of the eastern portion of the state.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) took to Twitter to vent his outrage over the decision.

Neil Gorsuch & the four liberal Justices just gave away half of Oklahoma, literally.

Manhattan is next. https://t.co/Ic9gqqznJp

Continue Reading
 

2020 Election

Trump is cracking as his distraction superpowers falter amid the coronavirus pandemic

Published

on

Donald Trump is dumb — so dumb he literally suggested on live television that scientists should explore injecting household cleaners into people's lungs to cure the coronavirus. But due to what appears to be a serious and undiagnosed personality disorder — his niece Mary Trump, who is a clinical psychologist, suggests it's likely narcissism or sociopathy — Trump managed to stumble backwards into a strategy that works well with the 24-hour cable news ecosystem of national politics. Actually, "strategy" may be too strong a word, but it's inarguable that Trump's short attention span, impulsive nature and all-consuming corruption have meant a constant deluge of scandals and outrages, with each one knocking the last one out of the headlines.

Continue Reading
 
 
You need honest news coverage. Help us deliver it. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1. Go ad-free.
close-image