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During the much-hyped press conference on Wednesday, Donald Trump‘s attorney disputed any claims that the President-elect would be violating the Constitution’s Emoluments Clause when he takes office. As millions of people watched the press conference, many people wanted to know right away — what the heck she was talking about. What in the world is the Emoluments clause? It is a bit complicated so we tried to break it down.
So what is the Emoluments Clause?
The Constitution specifically states:
“No title of nobility shall be granted by the United States: and 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.”
Officials - Titles - Nobility - Gifts - Government
So basically what this means is that federal officials are prohibited from being granted titles of nobility or accepting gifts from foreign government “without the consent of the United States Congress.”
Some legal experts believe if foreign leaders visit and choose to stay at one of Trump’s hotels like the one in Washington D.C., Trump benefits and this could be construed as a gift. While Trump may not be pushing foreign officials to stay at his hotel, a former Mexican ambassador has said that there will be a “temptation” for some to stay there just to tell Trump they’re at his hotel. The King of Bahrain has also decided to host a reception there. Therefore, these legal experts believe that scenarios like this could be in violation of the Constitution’s Emoluments Clause.
Clause - Experts - Clause - President
So could Trump be violating the clause? Legal experts are divided on that, and whether the clause applies to the President at all.
In a recent academic article written by Prof. Norman L. Eisen, Chief White House Ethics Lawyer from 2009-2011, Prof. Richard W. Painter...
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