Report: questioning Trump on Emoluments clause
Source: Letter from 17 Senators
Excerpts from Letter from 17 Senators to Trump Organization: The Trump Organization's continuing financial relationship with President Trump raises concerns about whether it is a pass-through for income that violates the Constitution's two Emoluments Clauses: Article I, Section 9, Clause 8 on foreign Emoluments; and Article II, Clause 7 on domestic Emoluments. Please answer the following questions to help Congress understand:
When the Trump Organization receives income from a government agency, how is that income segregated & reported?
How does the Trump Organization determine if income is derived from foreign governments?
Trump promised to "donate all profits from foreign government payments made to his hotels to the US Treasury." Has the Trump Organization created a mechanism to make such payments?
What is the estimated value of the 38 Chinese trademarks recently awarded to the Trump Organization? And the reported 157 pending trademark applications in
Legal Analysis: (Cato Institute, "Emoluments Clause vs. Trump Empire," 11/29/16): The wording of the Emoluments clause points one way to resolution: Congress can give consent, as it did in the early years of the Republic to presents received by Ben Franklin. It can decide what it is willing to live with in the way of Trump conflicts. If it misjudges public opinion, it will pay a political price at the next election.
FOIA argument: (ACLU Center for Democracy, "FOIA Request," 1/19/17): We filed our first Freedom of Information Act request of the Trump Era, seeking documents relating President Trump's conflicts of interest relating to his business connections. When Trump took the oath of office, he didn't take the steps necessary to ensure that he and his family's business interests comply with the Constitution. Some have even argued that upon taking the oath of office, the new president is already violating the Emoluments Clause.
Also see opposing legislation H.R.3865 and Senate legislation S.2011 about targeting the Tea Party