This OTYCD entry originally posted in January 2017.
Read the Brookings Institution report on Trump and the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution.
Ethicists Norman Eisen and Richard Painter, along with Harvard University Constitutional law professor Laurence Tribe, released a comprehensive report in December titled The Emoluments Clause: Its Text, Meaning, and Application to Donald J. Trump.
The clause appears in Article I, Section 9 of the Constitution, and bars any “Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under [the United States]” from taking “any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State” without a direct and clear OK from Congress. The clause stops the president and other high-ranking officials from taking bribes and other pricey gifts from foreign entities.
The Brookings report dismantles Trump’s claim that a sitting president cannot have a conflict of interest. It also details the background of the Emoluments clause; explains what an emolument is; and makes clear that the clause applies to the president.
The upshot? The authors flat-out say, “Mr. Trump, as President-Elect, appears to be on a direct collision course with the Emoluments clause.”
Under the section titled Remedies for Emolument Clause Violations, the authors state: “If Mr. Trump enters office in what would obviously constitute a knowing and indeed intentional violation of the Emoluments Clause and then declines to cure that violation during his tenure, Congress would be well within its rights to impeach him for engaging in ‘high crimes and misdemeanors.'”
Here is a link to the Brookings Institution report:
Here are just a few articles that reveal dealings and behaviors that might place Trump in violation of the Constitution:
This article talks about how Trump’s web of business deals isn’t just a huge, roiling snarl of conflicts of interest–it might threaten national security, too:
And here are some articles that discuss how violating the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution puts Trump at risk of impeachment:
Since the Brookings Report came out, Trump announced his plans to deal with his conflicts of interest. This New York Times article recounts their failings:
Also see Wednesday’s OTYCD post in support of Walter Shaub, director of the Office of Government Ethics:
And see Thursday’s OTYCD post on supporting the Presidential Conflicts of Interest Act: