aside 196 Democratic Lawmakers Of US Congress Are Suing President over Foreign Emoluments Clause

Image result for photos of 196democrats suing president

Democrats of the US Congress have decided to act to force the republican President Donald Trump to comply with the US Constitution with regards to its “Emolument’s Clause.”

There are House republicans who argue that this clause has never been enforced against a sitting US president or the members of the US Congress. The obvious retort to this assertion is that previous presidents have fully complied with the intent of this clause. And the US Congress representatives are bound by the Foreign Gifts and Decorations Act to prevent it from acting counter to the emoluments clause.”

Image result for photos of us congress buildingThe Heritage Guide to the US Constitution states the following:

“The Framers intended the Emoluments Clause to protect the republican character of American political institutions. “One of the weak sides of republics, among their numerous advantages, is that they afford too easy an inlet to foreign corruption.” The Federalist No. 22 (Alexander Hamilton). The delegates at the Constitutional Convention specifically designed the clause as an antidote to potentially corrupting foreign practices of a kind that the Framers had observed during the period of the Confederation. Louis XVI had the custom of presenting expensive gifts to departing ministers who had signed treaties with France, including American diplomats. In 1780, the King gave Arthur Lee a portrait of the King set in diamonds above a gold snuff box; and in 1785, he gave Benjamin Franklin a similar miniature portrait, also set in diamonds. Likewise, the King of Spain presented John Jay (during negotiations with Spain) with the gift of a horse. All these gifts were reported to Congress, which in each case accorded permission to the recipients to accept them. Wary, however, of the possibility that such gestures might unduly influence American officials in their dealings with foreign states, the Framers institutionalized the practice of requiring the consent of Congress before one could accept “any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from…[a] foreign State.”

As for the US Congress itself,  “Congress has also exercised its power of “Consent” under the clause by enacting the Foreign Gifts and Decorations Act, which authorizes federal employees to accept foreign governmental benefits of various kinds in specific circumstances.”

Image result for photos of 196democrats suing presidentOn June 14, 2017 Cristina Alesci and Jill Disis of CNN Money penned the following report, “196 Democrats are suing President Trump over foreign money.”

Excerpts:

“Almost 200 Democratic members of Congress sued President Trump on Wednesday (6/14/17), alleging that he is violating the Constitution by accepting foreign money through his business empire.”

“The lawsuit says that Trump is in breach of the Foreign Emoluments Clause, which says that the president may not accept payments from foreign governments without the consent of Congress.”

 Related image“The suit was filed by 196 members of Congress — 30 from the Senate and 166 from the House.”

“Representative John Conyers, a Michigan Democrat, said it was the largest number of plaintiffs in any congressional lawsuit against the president in the nation’s history.”

“The complaint says that the Emoluments Clause was meant to ensure “that our nation’s leaders would not be corrupted by foreign influence or put their own financial interests over the national interest.”

Read the complaint

Image result for Photo of president with saudi arabia officials“As examples of foreign money, the complaint cites press reports about a Saudi government-backed lobbying firm that paid for a room at Trump’s luxury hotel in Washington in January, and a celebration held there in February by the Embassy of Kuwait.”

“It also cites preliminary approval granted by the Chinese government since January for trademark protection for Trump-branded construction services, golf clubs, hotels and other ventures.”

Related image“The complaint mentions at least two tenants at Trump Tower in New York that are backed by foreign governments, from China and the United Arab Emirates.”

“It also says Trump is entitled to licensing fees from Britain, Bulgaria, Indonesia and Vietnam for iterations of “The Apprentice” in those countries.”

“These payments are in violation of the Constitution absent a vote of Congress,” Representative Barbara Lee, Democrat of California, told CNN. “It hurts the average American because decisions can be made that are not in the best interest of our country.”

Lisa Benson / Victorville Daily Press“A senior administration official told CNN that the White House expects that the Justice Department will move to have the case dismissed. The official called the suit politically motivated.”

“The suit was filed in federal court in Washington. It asks the court for a declaration that Trump is violating the Constitution and an injunction stopping him from accepting foreign money.”

“The Democrats’ lawsuit is at least the fourth to be filed against the president over his refusal to separate himself from his business interests.”

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Senator Richard Blumenthal

“Lawsuits have also been filed by a government watchdog organization, by individual businesses that compete with Trump properties, and, this week, by the state of Maryland and the District of Columbia.”

Norman Eisen, a former ethics lawyer for President Barack Obama and the chairman of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a government watchdog group, said he strongly supports the newest case.

“Congress has an important role to play here, and he’s blocking the ability of these plaintiffs to do their jobs,” Eisen said. CREW is co-counsel in two of the other lawsuits.

“Trump refused to sell his business holdings before he took office, as government ethics experts of both parties encouraged him to do. Instead, he shifted the assets to a trust in his name, and from which he can withdraw money at any time.”

“To satisfy some concerns about conflict of interest, the Trump Organization pledged to donate to the U.S. Treasury any hotel profits connected to foreign governments.”

“But in a letter made public in late May, the company said it was “impractical” to ask all guests to identify themselves. Doing so would “impede upon personal privacy and diminish the guest experience of our brand,” the company said.”

“Sheri Dillon, a Trump lawyer, told reporters in January that hotel payments don’t constitute emoluments anyway.”

“And last Friday (6/9/17), the Justice Department argued in a separate case that the Emoluments Clause has no bearing over private business transactions. It deals only with gifts “offered to a U.S. official because of his or her status as a U.S. official,” the department argued.”

Related Articles:

Related: Trump’s Justice Department fires back on claim he violated the Constitution

Related: Why this lawsuit against Trump could be different

 

12 comments

  1. Gronda, it is all about leverage and money. He has known all along if he can gain the White House, he can leverage his position to make more money. Even without trying, countries and businesses trying to curry favor will stay at his hotels (and likely save the receipts to document such). The Russia ordeal is have everything to do with his business, investments and loans with members of the Russian oligarchy. The reason for the adamance, obstruction and attorney push back is our President does not want people sniffing around further. Keith

    • Dear Keith,

      You are right!…Follow the money.

      DDT knows that this is where he is vulnerable if a competent investigator starts to delve into his financial dealings.

      I am betting that his IRS returns will show him not to be as wealthy as he claims. Over the years, he has worked hard to bolster these numbers just like he did with the inauguration numbers.

      It is a very real possibility that he is heavily indebted to financial institutions with ties to Russia.

      It could also be true, that he needs to increase his revenues asap; and this is where his conflicts of interests problems with foreign entities, arise.

      Hugs, Gronda

  2. Dear Mz. Gronda,
    As one reads this, it becomes more visible daily the true disregard that the King has for the laws of this nation. As for his “donating” the foreign profits of his “leased from we the people” hotel, would it be fair to ask how those profits will be determined? Will they be the profits as shown on tax records, or will the be the profits as found in actual cash available from the funds received. I find it amusing that his people state that it is impossible for them to know who is who when it comes to their guests. How many of you have ever registered in a hotel/motel and not noticed the line that says “firm represented”, if a cheap motel can ask that and receive it, why can’t a huge, bigly, beautiful, grate (great) hotel owned by the tRump do the same? Why is it an intrusion on privacy when asked to a rich well connected person, but not when it is required of a peon or serf when registering at a hotel? I guess this is just another example of RHIP!

    • Dear Crustyolemothman,

      DDT lies well about his finances. There are the 196 US Congressional reps, the ACLU, and CREW ( Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington) WHICH ARE IN HOT LEGAL PURSUIT OF THE PRESIDENT.

      Only one of them needs to get far enough in the court process to where the president’s IRS tax returns can be subpoenaed.

      We will get there.

      Hugs, Gronda

  3. Reblogged this on 1EarthUnited and commented:
    The question regarding this lawsuit: is Trump violating the spirit or letter of the law according to Democrats?

    Depending upon how the law is interpreted, Dems charge that Trump is already in violation.

    “logic is that the clause prohibits Trump from taking any money at all from a foreign state. To them, the clause prohibits not just straight-up gifts but also payments for services rendered. So it would prohibit a Trump-owned hotel from renting a ballroom to a foreign embassy and prohibit Trump Tower from renting out office space — as it already does — to a state-controlled Chinese bank.”

    According to Trump, he has already divested his entire business to his sons, so he is not in violation.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/what-is-the-emoluments-clause-does-it-apply-to-president-trump/2017/01/23/12aa7808-e185-11e6-a547-5fb9411d332c_story.html

    • Dear !EarthUnited,

      Thanks for the ref. but it is an older one. HE DIDN’T FOLLOW THROUGH LIKE HE SHOULD HAVE.

      As per the 6/19/17 Atlantic, report by Jeremy Venook, “A number of Senate Democrats have introduced legislation that would force Trump to divest or face impeachment. Below is an attempt to catalogue the more clear-cut examples of conflicts of interest that have emerged so far. The most recent entries appear at the top:”

      That Trump Organization Event Planner
      That Saudi Arabian Lobbying Effort
      That Golf Course in New Jersey
      That Meeting in Brussels
      That Tower in Toronto
      That Caribbean Villa
      Those Condos for Sale
      Those Reelection-Campaign Funds
      That Second Hotel in Washington, D.C.
      That Property in Azerbaijan
      That Trump Tower Penthouse
      That Resort in the Dominican Republic
      That Chinese Trademark
      That Meeting at Mar-a-Lago
      That Defense Department Trump Tower Rental
      That Red Cross Ball
      That D.C. Labor Dispute
      That Estate in Palm Beach
      Those Expansion Plans
      That Hotel in Vancouver
      That Reality-Television Show
      That Pipeline
      Those HUD Grants
      That Golf Course in Aberdeen
      That Other Billionaire New York Real-Estate Developer
      Those Indonesian Politicians
      That Emirati Businessman
      That Virginia Vineyard
      That Las Vegas Labor Dispute
      That Kuwaiti Event
      Those Certificates of Divestiture
      That Carrier Deal
      That Blind-Trust Issue
      Those Fannie and Freddie Investments
      That Phone Call With Taiwan
      That Deutsche Bank Debt
      That Secret Service Detail
      That Property in Georgia (the Country)
      That Phone Call With Erdogan
      That Hotel in Washington, D.C.
      That Argentinian Office Building
      Those Companies in Saudi Arabia
      That British Wind Farm
      Those Indian Business Partners
      That Envoy From the Philippines 

      Thanks a million for your support and for this reblog.

      HUGS, GRONDA

    • Dear Suzanne,

      DDT is experiencing so many cuts from lots of sources. There will be no let up until he yells “UNCLE.”. AND THE SOONER THIS HAPPENS, THE BETTER IT WILL BE FOR ALL OF US.

      Thanks a million times for your support and for this reblog.

      Hugs, Gronda

  4. Reblogged this on Filosofa's Word and commented:
    The Emoluments Clause of the U.S. Constitution is the topic of the day. It is intended to ensure “that our nation’s leaders would not be corrupted by foreign influence or put their own financial interests over the national interest.” By now, it should be clear to all that Trump will always put his own interests, financial and otherwise, over the national interest. 196 Democrats in Congress have filed a lawsuit claiming that Trump is in violation of the Emoluments Clause. This lawsuit is right and proper, though I suspect it will die a quick death in light of the plutocracy of the day. Fellow-blogger Gronda has, as always, summarized and explained the issue for us in her latest post. Please take a few minutes to read this excellent post, for this is important information! Thank you, Gronda, for both the post and for allowing me to share!

    • Dear Jill,

      Fortunately, there are other watch dog groups in hot legal pursuit as well as the US congressional democrats, like Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, or CREW; and the ACLU.

      Thanks a million times over for the great intro, all of your support and for this reblog.

      Hugs, Gronda

  5. The pleasure is mine, my friend! Yes, there are others, and ultimately there must surely be some accountability by Trump, but it seems that so far nothing he says or does bring any real consequences. Fire the FBI Director who is conducting an investigation into your staff, admit that you fired him to try to stop the investigation, and Congress just shrugs their shoulders. Sigh. I guess I am getting discouraged, but never fear, I will NEVER give up the fight. 🙂

    Hugs!!!!

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