President-elect Donald Trump has in theory violated the Emoluments Clause of the U.S. Constitution. Article I, Section 9, states that no person holding public office shall accept any present, emolument, office or title of anything from foreign states. The word “emolument” as stated in the Oxford English dictionary defines the “for profit or gain arising from station, office or employment.”
Trump has declined to make most of his business transparent. Disentangling any potential improper influence resulting from special treatment of Trump’s business holdings by foreign states would be next to impossible.
Some recent examples of apparent violations of the Emolument Clause by President-elect Trump if he were president include meeting with developers from India, who are politically connected to Indian politicians and meeting with developers and a business partner from the Philippines.
Weeks after Trump spoke to the president of Taiwan, an associate made inquiries about hotels.
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Trump openly lobbied Nigel Farage, a British politician, to oppose a wind farm off the coast opposite his two golf courses.
Since Trump’s election, long-delayed projects have started up in Argentina and Georgia.
Trump’s new Trump International Hotel is now the hot spot for foreign diplomats.
The Kingdom of Bahrain already has booked the hotel for a reception.
If Trump continues to violate the Emoluments Clause after becoming president, he should be impeached by Congress.
Philip W. Wolfe