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Mon Feb 20, 2017, 01:11 AM

Dahlia Lithwick - This Emoluments Thing Isnt Going Away

Nice article by Slate legal commentator, Dahlia Lithwick.

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/jurisprudence/2017/02/how_state_attorneys_general_could_take_down_trump_over_emoluments.html

When last we checked in on President Trump and his assorted emoluments issues, a lawsuit had been filed and there was some question of whether the plaintiffs had any standing to proceed. There is now reason to believe the standing issue will be resolved and that there is a relatively easy way forward.

The Emoluments Clause, as you will recall, is to be found in Article I, Section 9 of the U.S. Constitution. It provides that “no person holding any office of profit or trust under them, shall, without the consent of the Congress, accept of any present, emolument, office, or title, of any kind whatever, from any king, prince, or foreign state.” In addition, a second emoluments provision in Article II, Section 1 prohibits the president from receiving, on top of his salary, “any other Emolument from the United States, or any of them.”

The fear animating these clauses was that foreign governments might try to bribe elected officials with gifts and payments, a form of corruption the founders found terrifying. When President Trump indicated he would not divest from his businesses or place them in a blind trust, scholars argued that he was taking gifts from foreign powers every time a Trump-owned property took payments from a foreign government, or whenever Trump Tower rented out property to foreign banks, or when the Trump businesses received loans or international licensing agreements. The theory is that any time a foreign government feels like laying a little cash on the new president, they need only book a party at his D.C. hotel or shovel some business toward Trump Tower. While such things have been happening with some frequency since Inauguration Day, the president claims he is immune from prosecution. In a press conference explaining his legal posture in early January, Trump’s lawyer Sheri Dillon explained, “Paying for a hotel room is not a gift or a present, and it has nothing to do with an office. It’s not an emolument.”

The reason we haven’t seen a ton of Emoluments Clause cases is that prior officials have gone to great lengths to avoid the perception of corruption. Trump, on the other hand, has gone to great not-lengths, and ethics experts largely agree that Trump’s limited efforts to correct for any conflicts—putting his sons in charge of his companies, donating any profits from foreign clients to the U.S. Treasury—are simply insufficient.

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Reply Dahlia Lithwick - This Emoluments Thing Isnt Going Away (Original post)
TomCADem Feb 2017 OP
SunSeeker Feb 2017 #1
Cha Feb 2017 #2

Response to TomCADem (Original post)

Mon Feb 20, 2017, 02:45 AM

1. K & R

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Response to TomCADem (Original post)

Mon Feb 20, 2017, 03:44 AM

2. I hope not.. because it's obviously getting worse

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