Richard Blumenthal, a Democratic Senator from Connecticut, has brought a case against Trump for his failure to comply with the Foreign Emoluments Clause in the Constitution, and that case is one week out from hearing oral arguments.
Blumenthal tweeted about the progress of the case, saying “President Trump has repeatedly & flagrantly violated the Constitution’s Foreign Emoluments Clause. He has thumbed his nose at its plain text, and in doing so, thumbed his nose at the American people as well.”
The Clause requires that people holding federal office, including the President, must seek the consent of Congress before they can accept benefits from a foreign state. The Founding Fathers included the requirement in the Constitution to prevent U.S. officials from choosing self-interest over the interests of the American people.
As Senator Blumenthal explained on Twitter, Trump has benefited from foreign governments since taking office, benefits which he calls “little conflicts of interest.”
For example, since his time in the Oval Office started, Trump’s companies have been granted 40 new trademarks by the Chinese government. These trademarks have been approved so quickly, one Hong Kong official remarked that he “had never seen so many applications approved so expeditiously.”
Trump has also benefited from foreign governments booking rooms at his Trump hotels. A lobbying firm from Saudi Arabia stayed in rooms at the Trump International Hotel in D.C. which were paid for by the Saudi government. Also, the Embassy of Kuwait used his D.C. hotel for their National Day celebration which earned Trump’s property upwards of $40k. Plus, a Chinese bank and the Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority rent space in the Trump Tower.
Those are just the “little conflicts” that we know about. It is nearly impossible for America to know just how self-serving Trump’s time in the White House has been. This case being brought by Blumenthal is moving forward in the hope that Trump will be held accountable for his abuses to the nation.
Read Blumenthal’s entire tweet thread in a simpler format, “Thread by @SenBlumenthal" posted on May 31, 2018 and check out the specifics of the case, "Blumenthal, et al. v. Trump: Holding President Trump accountable for his violations of the Foreign Emoluments Clause" posted by The Constitution Accountability Center.