from Tea Party Patriots
November 27, 2016
It isn’t every day a little known provision of the U.S Constitution makes the news, but now it’s all over the place. The Emoluments Clause - Article 1, Section 9, Clause 8 of the Constitution - prohibits President-elect Trump from accepting gifts from foreign countries without consent of Congress. The concern is that officeholders could be bribed to use their office for the benefit of other nations. The media is making a big deal out of this, but funny how the Emoluments Clause never came up when Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State. As for why there is such a clause, Louis the Sixteenth threw gifts around to diplomats who signed treaties with France, and the Framers wanted to prevent that kind of corruption through the Emoluments Clause. There hasn’t been a court case on this clause, as far as I can tell, but there is a long record of Attorney General opinions. What does all this have to do with Trump? He has overseas business dealings in 20 countries. Do you want him trading the national interest for business favors in meetings with foreign dignitaries? I heard a commentator on NPR claim this problem has already come up in conversations Trump has had with foreign leaders since the election. If you’re upset about this kind of conflict of interest when Hillary Clinton does it, you should also be upset if Donald Trump were to do it. As Senator Ben Sasse recently put it in a speech to the Federalist Society, constitutional questions are constitutional questions, regardless of the color of the jersey the player has on. By the way, the Sasse speech is quite good on separation of powers and limited government, and I commend the whole thing to you. Links in the wrap-up.
“The Emoluments Clause — is Donald Trump violating its letter or spirit?”
“Trump's International Business Dealings Could Violate The Constitution”
Federalist Society National Lawyers Convention, Senator Sasse