Is the Foreign Payments Lawsuit Spurious?

I’m not thinking the lawsuit filed Monday holds a lot of water. I’m neither a lawyer nor Unknown.jpegconstitutional scholar (and I’d love my attorney friends to weigh in with some case law) but I really don’t believe the framers intended the Constitution to ban routine business transactions.

Article 1, Section 9, Clause 8 reads, “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.”

We’re clearly not talking about present, office or title, so the concern must be with an “Emolument.” I have to confess I missed that one in the SAT study guide. According to the Oxford Dictionary, it is “a salary, fee, or profit from employment or office.” I have a hard time seeing how a foreign government involved in a fair quid pro quo for a product or service from one of the Trump businesses would meet that definition. Is there really something wrong with our neighbors to the north putting up Justin Trudeau at the Trump Hotel in Vancouver? There are likely scenarios that would sound shadier, but in any case the claims seem too broad.

The suit was filed by smarter guys than I, including actual constitutional scholars and former White House ethicists (both Democrat and Republican). So where were they coming from? Well, there must be enough of a case that it will not be deemed frivolous. And, all are on the record as saying the the President has not gone far enough to separate himself from his businesses. So, they must calculate this will give them a bit of a stick to help whack him into taking steps towards a blind trust. Perhaps they are also thinking this might be a lever to force a peek at the secret tax returns.

If I works, then good. He does, IMO, remain tied far to close to The Trump Organization. And he should, like all other President’s, release those tax returns. The public does care, not just the press.

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