Emoluments and President Trump
The Constitution prohibits Presidential emoluments from foreign governments, from the US government or state governments. (Article 1, Section 9, Clause 8 and Article 2, Section 1, Clause 8) The purpose is to prevent government corruption. The prohibition against emoluments applies to other top government officials like members of Congress, Cabinet members and ambassadors, etc. “Black’s Law Dictionary defines an “emolument” as an “advantage, profit, or gain received as a result of one’s employment or one’s holding of office”. https://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/IF11086.pdf
President Trump has been repeatedly violating these clauses, both covertly and overtly to enrich himself and his family members. He suggested using his Doral resort in Florida to host next summer’s G-7 conference. https://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/trumps-plan-to-host-the-g-7-revives-the-issue-of-emoluments This would allow the President to fill his money losing resort with lucrative foreign guests during its slow season.
It has just recently surfaced that the Air Force has been diverting its overseas flights and crews to Scotland’s Prestwick Airport and Trump’s money losing Turnberry golf resort. The benefit is two fold: keep Prestwick open for Trump’s Turnberry customers and fill empty rooms at the Turnberry resort. The Air Force has so far stonewalled Congressional investigators. https://www.politico.com/story/2019/09/06/air-force-trump-scottish-retreat-1484337 and https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2019/09/trump-turnberry-domestic-emoluments-clause.html and https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2019/9/7/20854203/donald-trump-turnberry-resort-military-spending-scotland-air-force-house-oversight
The President suggested that his Vice President Mike Pence and his entourage stay at Trump’s money losing Doonbeg golf resort in Ireland – 180 miles away from the Vice President’s meetings in Dublin with Irish officials. The Vice President did as his boss suggested. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/sep/05/trump-emoluments-corruption-mike-pence-hotel and https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/09/trumps-brazen-doonbeg-corruption-mike-pence/597295/
Since the President refuses to open up his tax returns or his business records or to put his holdings in a blind trust or to divest himself of his holding, it is unclear whether these are three isolated events or whether this has been his pattern and practice since President Trump assumed office. The existing evidence that he has used Trump golf courses or stayed at Trump resorts on over 1/3rd of the days since he assumed the Presidency at taxpayer expense, and that foreign nations, his own staff and cabinet members (at taxpayer expense), RNC staff and industry lobbyists are routinely using Trump facilities suggests widespread and routine corruption of public affairs. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/07/us/politics/trump-hotel.html Impeachment appears to be the appropriate remedy as the President’s attorneys maintain the courts have no jurisdiction over the President’s conduct.
Prepared by: Lucien Wulsin