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Wed May 15, 2019, 06:24 AM

The Emoluments Clause Could Be a Tipping Point in Trump's Downfall


The Emoluments Clause Could Be a Tipping Point in Trump’s Downfall
Stephen Rohde
May 13, 2019
The obstruction of justice documented in Mueller’s report has gotten more attention, but Trump’s profiting from his office is an open-and-shut impeachment count.

Trump is the only president for at least 40 years who has not liquidated his business assets or put them in a blind trust.

On April 30, a federal district judge rejected Trump’s motion to throw out the lawsuit filed by approximately 201 members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives alleging that Trump has flagrantly violated the Foreign Emoluments Clause. The case was largely overlooked as national attention has focused on Trump’s obstruction of justice and his efforts to block further congressional scrutiny of his abuses of power.


Having determined the legal definition of emoluments, both judges found that the plaintiffs’ factual allegations, if proven, met that standard. For example, the attorneys general specifically allege that “foreign governments or their instrumentalities have patronized the Trump International Hotel, spending government funds to stay at the Hotel, eat at its restaurants, and sponsor events in the Hotel's event spaces.” In particular, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia spent $270,000 at the hotel between October 1, 2016, and March 31, 2017, and the Embassy of Kuwait moved its National Day celebration from another hotel to the Trump International Hotel on February 22, 2017, a month after Trump was inaugurated.

Trump’s appeal of Judge Messitte’s ruling was heard by the U.S. Court of Appeals last March but a decision has yet to be issued. At the oral argument, one of the judges questioned whether the president could be sued in a civil action for violating the emoluments clause and that instead the remedy rests with Congress. Ironically, the remedy the Constitution grants Congress is impeachment. Indeed, Edmund Randolph at the Virginia ratifying convention in 1788 remarked that the emoluments clause protected the country against the danger of “the President receiving Emoluments from foreign powers” and asserted that a president who violates the clause “may be impeached.”

Regardless of the outcome of the lawsuits, the litigation provides another ideal opportunity to marshal the evidence supporting the remedy intended by the founders—namely, impeachment.

The Mueller Report established how Trump welcomed the gift of Russian interference in the 2016 election to help defeat his opponent and advance his candidacy. Once in office, Trump has continued to enjoy foreign gifts and benefits. But when he became president, he swore that he would “faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.” Violating the express terms of the emoluments clauses may be the clearest evidence that Trump has committed “high crimes and misdemeanors,” justifying impeachment.

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Reply The Emoluments Clause Could Be a Tipping Point in Trump's Downfall (Original post)
babylonsister May 2019 OP
kentuck May 2019 #1
NewJeffCT May 2019 #3
CanonRay May 2019 #2

Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Wed May 15, 2019, 06:40 AM

1. I would agree that the emoluments clause will be very significant if there is an impeachment.

He has been in obvious violation since the day he was sworn in. It is a very important issue. It has been so flagrant that it cannot be ignored.

Rational people have seen enough.

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Response to kentuck (Reply #1)

Wed May 15, 2019, 09:01 AM

3. There are at least 2 lawsuits moving through the courts on Emoluments

including one started by senator Blumenthal of Connecticut.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Wed May 15, 2019, 08:57 AM

2. Something better tip pretty damn quick

We're up to our chins in a shit/quicksand mix.

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