My good friend Anne, who I’ve known at least since Gerald Ford was President, asks: Why hasn’t the current regime been charged with using public office for private gain? (Sorry, kinda rhetorical).
It’s a reasonable question, given a recent ruling in which a judge dismissed suits claiming Trump violated the emoluments clause.
“The plaintiffs argued that because Trump properties rent out hotel rooms and meeting spaces to other governments, the president was violating a constitutional provision that bans the acceptance of foreign emoluments, or gifts from foreign powers.
“But Judge George B. Daniels of the Southern District of New York ruled that the plaintiffs, led by the government watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), lacked standing to bring such a case, saying it was up to Congress to prevent the president from accepting emoluments.”
To the first point, it wasn’t merely that the Trump organization was renting out space, it was with the (wink, wink) impression that those countries would receive favored status in dealing with the United States.
Precisely how much benefit IS the regime leader receiving from these deals? Who knows since he doesn’t release his tax returns. That, of course, is why most of us believe the dreadful tax bill that was recently passed and signed will favor him economically. We don’t even need to read the tea leaves.
To the second point, about standing, Judge Daniels wants THIS Congress to hold him accountable? I’m hoping that lawsuits still out there by “a group of congressional Democrats and another filed by the attorneys general of Maryland and the District” will have more success.
Yes, I think it’s obvious that the emoluments clause has been violated, and repeatedly. But I’m not king.