Trump's roadmap to violate the Emoluments Clause
President Donald Trump offered to hold the next G7 summit at his resort in Doral, Florida, explicitly showing how he’d violate the Emoluments Clause. Why is nothing being done about it?
Far from the impossible idealism of having an impeccable, correct and perfect government, in the U.S. right now there are red flags that would sound the alarms of any judicial system in less than a second.
And the Trump administration could deck out a runway with all its red flags.
Just a few days ago, the U.S. president told the media that he discussed with the G7 member representatives in Biarritz the possibility of holding the next summit at his Doral resort in Miami.
"They love the location of the hotel," Trump said during a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. "We haven’t found anything else close to competing with it."
Let us make something clear: the United States Constitution prohibits any person “holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them” to accept any present, emolument, office or title from any King, Prince or foreign state.
This means that no president can profit — that is, fill his pockets — as a private individual through his connections while in office.
The reason is simple: the position of the president of the United States is a public position, in the service of the people; not a platform to swell the coffers of a previously established empire.
It makes sense, doesn't it?
Now, when the position is held by a real estate mogul — who by the way has gone to all extremes to prevent his tax returns from coming to light — the red flags begin to appear.
After President Trump’s declarations in Biarritz, experts in constitutional law have come to warn that his words are a public confession of the violation of the Emoluments Clause established by the constitution.
“Emolumentally (sic) clear! Trump keeps proving that he is deliberately violating the Constitution’s main safeguard against financial corruption and compromise of presidential decisions by foreign powers,” said one of the nation’s most important specialists in constitutional law, Laurence Tribe, in his personal Twitter account.
"Today the president (...) proposed a massive violation of the Emoluments Clause," agreed Seth Masket, professor of political science at the University of Denver.
As expected, this is not the first time that Donald Trump makes explicit his way of violating the clause.
As ABC News explained, the attorney generals of the District of Columbia and the state of Maryland have already filed lawsuits against the president for violation of the clause, arguing that Trump "remains the owner of his global business empire while he is president."
While his organization's lawyers have made public documents to "completely isolate him" from the Trump Organization's administration, the worldwide scope of his property is closely linked with the sponsorship of foreign governments, including, of course, Moscow.
"To satisfy the Constitution, (Trump) needs to make sure he does not own companies that are accepting payments from foreign governments or corporations owned by foreign governments," Richard Painter, former ethics lawyer for President George W. Bush, told the media.
An example of how the U.S. president has managed to get his way while still inflating his personal portfolio has been his intimate relationship with the Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammad bin Salman.
After the assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, which, according to U.S. intelligence agencies and most international governing bodies, came at the hands of the Saudi regime, President Donald Trump even opposed Republican lawmakers in condemning the murder.
Many questioned the reason for his behavior until they followed the money and realized that the Trump hotel in New York propelled its income after the visit of the Saudi prince in early 2018.
His five-day stay increased the hotel's first-quarter income by 13 percent, the Washington Post explained.
The analysis also highlights how during 2018, the Kuwaiti Embassy celebrated its national holiday at the Trump Hotel in Washington, just as the Philippine embassy celebrated its independence party in the Trump ballroom.
After all, the president only attacks Muslims who have no money and is constantly praising dictatorial regimes, such as Rodrigo Duterte's in the Philippines — perhaps for reasons that go beyond simple idolatry.
Just days after the president invited the G7 to meet next year at his beloved hotel, the Washington Post revealed how the U.S. attorney general booked his family Christmas party at his boss's hotel.
Attorney General William P. Barr, the man who exonerated the president from all evil and hindered the results of the Mueller report earlier this year, “booked President Trump's D.C. hotel for a 200-person holiday party in December that is likely to deliver Trump’s business more than $ 30,000 in revenue,” said the media that obtained a copy of Barr's contract.
While the document makes clear that the attorney general will pay the event out of his pocket, the circle of monetary feedback that seems to be established in the White House is nothing less than unconstitutional.
Without taking into account that Barr's salary money comes from the pockets of U.S. taxpayers or that the most important Republican in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, has managed to avoid sanctions against Russian billionaires who intend to invest in his home state — those same oligarchs who signed the president's loans at the Deutsch Bank —, one cannot help wondering how Trump is still exempt from impeachment.
And the answer could lie with McConnell himself.
The only way in which the president can save himself from being accused of violation of the Emoluments Clause is if Congress grants him permission to enrich his businesses under its supervision.
According to what Tribe told ABC, “the emoluments clause specifically says that Congress is in charge. It can give the president permission to have what might otherwise look like a conflict of interest.”
In charge is a Congress that, although it has a Democratic majority in the House of Representatives, remains controlled by Republicans under McConnell’s power in the Senate.
It seems that at this point, the checks might be outweighing the balances in this version of democracy