Oddly enough there is a school of legal thought that says “no matter what personal business dealings a President has, those dealings are always ‘in the interest of the country” and thus the President is always immune to any restrictions thereof, including the emoluments clause”.
The reasoning for this opinion is that no one could possibly have “Standing” to file a legal complaint, not to mention precedent going all the way back to George Washington who did NOT divest or otherwise stop running his various and sundry businesses.
“Pay Trump Bribes Here” was projected onto the Trump hotel in Washington, D.C., late Monday night.
Photos shared on social media also showed the Constitution’s emoluments clause projected on the Trump International Hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue, just blocks away from the White House.
The emoluments clause prohibits federal officials from taking payments from foreign governments: “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.”
— Tim Hogan (@timjhogan) May 16, 2017
Right now at Trump’s DC hotel! pic.twitter.com/95cwrUmbmF
— igorvolsky (@igorvolsky) May 16, 2017
Washington, D.C.-based artist Robin Bell posted on Twitter claiming to be behind the projections.
— robin bell (@bellvisuals) May 16, 2017
The president faces a lawsuit filed by ethics watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington in January that alleges he violated the emoluments clause.
Trump is the ultimate enforcer of the emoluments clause and he can fire anyone for breaching it, but who can “fire” Trump? Since Trump didn’t “ask permission” from Congress to perform his business or accept ANY kind of payment (whether “ethically challenged” or not) the only recourse congress has is to impeach him or work hard next election to vote him out of office.
Impeachment would also likely fail if only based on the Emoluments Clause, because the congress would have to prove that Trump’s alleged commercial transactions involving a foreign entity amount to “receiving a present, Emolument, (a salary, fee, or profit from ’employment’ or separate ‘office’) an Office, (such as leadership office in a foreign country – prime minister, MP, etc.) or a Title, (Duke, Barron etc.)”.
Thin legal gruel with zero chance of any Judge or the GOP congress even agreeing to hear it as a case.
Maybe if the Democrats can get a majority in the house and senate within the next eight years they could start an impeachment process, but remember, Bill Clinton was impeached, and what came of that?