The G7 Summit will be held at the Trump National Doral
The U.S. president will pocket the money from a contract through his public office and has no qualms about saying it out loud.
We don’t know for sure if it is a misinterpretation of the U.S. Constitution or plain cynicism, but the Trump administration has announced its latest plans to violate the Emoluments Clause.
Last Thursday, the White House chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, told the media that the 2020 Group of Seven Summit would be held at the Trump National Doral golf complex in Miami, Florida.
The event will attract hundreds of diplomats, their teams and journalists from all over the world for a week in the month of June next year, one of the slowest months of the year in the state economy when “Miami is hot and the Hotel is usually less than 40% full,” explained the Washington Post.
This is one of the Trump Organization’s properties that has been in decline over the past two years, with a net operating income that has fallen by 69%.
A report from the Post last May cited the devaluation of the Trump brand since the inauguration of its founder as U.S. president.
However, for the White House, one thing has nothing to do with the other.
According to Mulvaney, the Trump National Doral "is by far and away, far and away, the best physical facility for this meeting," and that had been chosen after considering other hotels across the country.
"It's almost like they built this facility to host this type of event," he added, echoing Trump's words during the G7 Summit this year when he first announced his intentions to divert money from the event directly to the coffers of his family company.
“Doral happens to be within Miami. It’s a city, it’s a wonderful place,” said the U.S. president in a joint press conference with French President Emmanuel Macron in Biarritz last August.
“With Doral, we have a series of magnificent buildings, we call them bungalows. They each hold from 50 to 70 very luxurious rooms with magnificent views. We have incredible conference rooms, incredible restaurants, it’s such a natural. We wouldn’t even have to do the work that they did here. And they’ve done a beautiful job. They’ve really done a beautiful job.”
It is difficult to get another explanation for this decision than the need to profit of his position as president of one of the most powerful countries in the world.
And the vast majority of the country seems to agree.
“The administration’s announcement that President Trump’s Doral Miami resort will be the site of the next G7 summit is among the most brazen examples yet of the president’s corruption,” said Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, which is charged with drawing up articles of impeachment against the president.
For its part, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), a government watchdog, highlighted in a statement the level of cynicism of the White House decision:
“This is unbelievable. Given the potential consequences, the president is facing for abusing the presidency for his own gain, we would have thought he would steer clear of blatant corruption at least temporarily; instead, he has doubled down on it. The president is now officially using the power of his office to help prop up his struggling golf business.”
And it is that the constitution could not be clearer: the Emoluments Clause prohibits an acting president from accepting “gifts or payments” from a foreign government, much less accepting federal payments that overlap his salary as a public official.
The money channeled to the Doral complex from foreign governments will go directly to the pocket of the Trump Organization, as well as all the money that the government must invest in the planning of the event.
If this is not the clearest definition of corruption, what is it?