Attorney Generals Allege Trump Is Profiting From Presidency
- Author: Jack Mann Jun 14, 2017,
Jun 14, 2017, 5:05
Marylands Republican state senator Addie Eckardt is now speaking out against the lawsuit filed by the state attorney general against the president.
The Constitution prohibits federal officials from accepting gifts or emoluments from foreign governments. The role of flattery in the Trump presidency was in full display in the public portion of a cabinet meeting this week, in which the self-congratulation from the man in the center and the sycophancy from almost everyone else at the table was what one might expect from a meeting of the North Korean cabinet. As Greg Jarrett notes, "The first five presidents were farmers and plantation owners who maintained their businesses while in office".
"The suit alleges that president Trump is flagrantly violating the constitution, which explicitly bars presidents from receiving gifts or inducements from foreign or domestic government entities", said Washington Attorney General Karl Racine.
Even if the parties are unsuccessful in their legal endeavor, a judge simply allowing the lawsuit to advance could provoke a major revelation about President Trump, regarding his taxes.
The Justice Department had no immediate response. "You got no emoluments clause there, and it's absolutely clear that the framers of the Constitution intended that to protect us from presidential corruption". "That is the indispensable foundation of a democracy", said Attorney General Frosh.
The issue at hand is Trump's vast global business empire and the fact that Trump chose to retain ownership of his company when he became president.
"He bragged about that on the campaign trial", Frosh said. And ProPublica discovered in April that the President can withdraw money from his many business holdings at any time.
The attorneys general also cited other properties in the region such as National Harbor in Prince George's County and the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in the District that could also lose business if customers patronize Trump's properties instead.
"And we think that our case will also further develop the record and the law for the court, which obviously will ultimately be the final arbiter, a necessary cog in the check-and-balance wheel", Racine said.
After the President handed day-to-day operations of Trump Organization to his sons, the company claimed it would identify foreign revenues and donate them to the US Treasury in order to avoid implicating the emoluments clause.
While the chance of success is slim, the lawsuit seeks to shine a light on Trump's personal tax returns to assess the magnitude of his foreign business dealings.
"Mr. Trump is unique in American history in violating the emoluments clause", Frosh said. "There is no other president whose domestic and foreign investments, the entanglements, have been so bound up with our policy and our interests, and he is the only president who has refused to disclose the extent of his holdings", said Maryland attorney general Brian Frosh. "We will be seeking that information".