donald trump violates the domestic emoluments clause

Donald Trump Violates the Domestic Emoluments Clause

Donald Trump’s violating a second emoluments clause

By now, we should all be familiar with the Foreign Emoluments Clause (Article 1, Section 9, Clause 8), which prevents an officer of the United States from receiving money (an emolument), in any form, from an individual, corporation, or other agent funded by a foreign government.  The clause prevents conflicts of interest that could pit the U.S. officer’s financial interest against the interests of the country he claims to represent.  Donald Trump, whose D.C. hotel has attracted thousands of dollars from foreign governments, whose New York City tower houses the Bank of China (a state corporation), and whose buildings across the world receive rent from foreign government agencies, has undoubtedly violated the Foreign Emoluments Clause.  This is impeachment worthy.  But that’s not all.  Donald Trump violates the Domestic Emoluments Clause, too.

The lesser-known Domestic Emoluments Clause (Article 2, Section 2, Clause 7), states that “The President shall, at stated Times, receive for his Services, a Compensation, which shall neither be encreased [sic] nor diminished during the Period for which he shall have been elected, and he shall not receive within that Period any other Emolument from the United States, or any of them.”

In other words, the president’s compensation for his duties will not exceed the predefined presidential salary.  He cannot receive any other emoluments from the government, thus preventing government officials at the federal and state level from tapping department or local coffers to buy favor with the president.  This precludes the president from accepting, even indirectly, money that originates from the government treasury.  It would pose problems, then, if a member of the Trump administration with salary paid by the government lived in a Trump hotel and, therefore, paid Trump — who retains a financial stake in the Trump Organization — an emolument originating from the United States.



How Donald Trump Violates the Domestic Emoluments Clause

Steven Mnuchin (Secretary of the Treasury), Linda McMahon (who heads the Small Business Administration), and Gary Cohn (economic adviser) all call the Trump DC hotel home during the work week.  They are paid by the government; they use that pay to live in the Trump Hotel; Donald Trump has a financial stake in the Trump Hotel and profits from each dollar spent in the hotel.  Therefore, Trump receives an emolument from the United States above and beyond his presidential salary.

Spokespeople for those individuals contend that since they pay a “fair market rate,” there are no constitutional problems.  As Donald Trump likes to say: “Wrong!”  Emoluments exist regardless of a transaction’s purported fair market value.  The very definition of the word — its definition as understood by the Constitution’s framers — encompassed all financial transaction between two parties.




This constitutional violation is yet another example of a bourgeoning kleptocratic administration.  Trump, by failing to divest from his business interests, stands to profit immensely from his position as president.  He’s pocketed money from foreign governments and from individuals lusting to stay in his hotels and properties to, in any way, support their idol.  And now he’s profiting from taxpayer dollars given to him by members of his cabinet.

That Donald Trump violates the Domestic Emoluments Clause is yet another reason to urge impeachment.  Donald J. Trump has disgraced the letter and spirit of the Constitution and must be immediately removed from office.  Call your representatives and senators and urge them to begin the impeachment process.





12 thoughts on “Donald Trump Violates the Domestic Emoluments Clause

  1. Trump gave his children his businesses. I read that the president is exempt from having a business as president. Didn’t Carter have a peanut farm? Why not check Hillarys “pay for play” instead?

    1. Because there’s no Hillary “pay to play” scandal.

      But, it’s worth noting that donors, lobbyists, and other financial backers are now appearing in Trump’s White House…

  2. Well since Hillary isn’t POTUS and Jimmy Carter sold his peanut farm duh to avoid emoluments violation seems your argument is flawed. What else is new

  3. The kids are traveling on our dime to secure business deals. Top advisors in the WH are prohibited from “benefiting” also

  4. This is so lame. First of kids work for the government. Second TRUMP gave all his businesses to his kids. Nice try though. Will you people ever stop the division? Oh and by the way IF Killary made it to becoming President our country would have become a Muslim brotherhood country. Obama and all his administration is the devil in disguise. You might learn someday, then again with this lame statement I have my doubts.

    1. Ms. Jonson only 1 of trumps kids allegedly works for the government. Trump did not give the businesses to his kids ( the same ones you think work for the government) he retains ownership. Your bizarre comments on Hillary Clinton & Barack Obama are so out there, I am at a loss for words on how to best address them. Are we sure she isn’t a bot or troll?

  5. A friend and I watched our new President closely. We didn’t have a choice with the tiring length of pre-Presidential coverage. I began by realizing, as anyone who votes must, give the new guy a chance, even with doubts. This President has been breaking various laws from day one! He acts and talks as someone with a sense of entitlement does. Already, this was so opposed to his Office and his promises. The only President to not release taxes. Many “the only President to”s. It became clear that this was not just another President whom I hadn’t chosen. The complications came in; talks of Putin and Russia weren’t far away. I did some research. This man who claimed to have no relationship with Russia clearly had. Just how much lying is this President going to function on? He’s making us out to be fools! Didn’t want to live at the White House, so the money and the non-essential added houses and security while the “kids” were also taking full advantage of their welcome. It’s been months and months and it’s no longer intriguing, long past fun or funny. I feel for him, truly, because it wasn’t long before it appeared that he has mental illness. However, the narcissism and lying and quick changes, inability to relate to our allies – in fact, insulting them weren’t good Presidential traits. Then it became really obvious that Trump was very comfortable with Vladimir Putin, America’s enemy with quite a history of doing his work of seeing that America be ‘taken’. It was commented on, the fact that Trump never said a negative word about Putin, while he had no problems at all verbally nailing most others within his Presidential sphere. Um, huh. Are we now in a new era where we make friends with our enemies? Do I need to give this man a break? After all, he’d had no training, probably wasn’t very familiar with National documents, but then he didn’t care or ask to be schooled.

    Don’t care abt Am. documents et al + rude to allies, kind to Putin =
    Well, what the heck does this equal? As time passed and he continued to act in ways that weren’t appropriate for his role with really odd cabinet members (all wealthy and not suited to their tasks) who didn’t build a staff, it started to be althemore surreal. I’d questioned his including his grown children wherever they might be, learned that we paid for their various trips and there were some problems in the family system.
    So much could be said, but I’m tired of it as I replay it in my mind. ‘Just a new President’ has become an unwanted, complicated, troubling drama. I resent it. Will I lose the America I’ve always loved? I don’t know. But I’m a strong supporter of Special Counsel Robert Mueller whose work has already impressed. Even if the strange GOP were to make some kind of sense, there’s Russia. Always Russia. Odd Steve Bannon is somewhere more in the background and the family is starting to feel real and legitimate. They know their sins and can’t imagine that all of America is foolish or stupid enough to believe the crazy circumlocutions of Trumpdom. I look forward to its end. May it come before WWIII.

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