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Our fearful, Milquetoast media: Media Should Report That President Trump Is Violating The Constitution — And It’s An Impeachable Offense

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Timothy Johnson writes at Media Matters:

According to experts, President Donald Trump’s continued ownership interest in the Trump Organization means that he is in violation of the U.S. Constitution’s Emoluments Clause, which prohibits the president from personally benefiting from actions taken by foreign governments and their agents. Will media hold Trump accountable for this impeachable offense or will they normalize his flagrant violation of the supreme law of the land?

The U.S. Constitution’s Emoluments Clause Prohibits The President From Financially Benefiting From Actions Taken By Foreign Governments

U.S. Constitution Prohibits The President From Accepting Emoluments From Foreign States Without The Consent Of Congress. The U.S. Constitution’s Article I, Section 9 contains a broad provision to prevent foreign governments from corrupting U.S. government by giving benefits to federal officeholders:

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. [U.S. Constitution via Cornell University Law School Legal Information Institute, accessed 1/19/17]

Merriam Webster Definition Of Emolument: “The Returns Arising From Office Or Employment Usually In The Form Of Compensation Or Perquisites.” [Merriam Webster, accessed 1/19/17]

Legal Ethics Experts: “The Best Reading Of The Clause Covers Even Ordinary, Fair Market Value Transactions That Result In Any Economic Profit Or Benefit To The Federal Officeholder.” The clause does not just cover “sweetheart deal[s]” because “emoluments are properly defined as including ‘profit’ from any employment, as well as ‘salary,” meaning “it is clear that even remuneration fairly earned in commerce can qualify,” according to an analysis published by the Brookings Institute. It was authored by legal ethics experts Norman Eisen, a former Obama administration ethics attorney and current chair of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington; Richard Painter, a former Bush administration ethics attorney and current vice chair of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington; and Laurence Tribe, a leading expert on constitutional law and professor at Harvard University Law School. [Brookings Institute, 12/16/16]

Violating The Emoluments Clause Is An Impeachable Offense. During the 1788 Virginia Ratifying Convention, Virginia Gov. Edmund Jennings Randolph, who later served as the United States’ first attorney general, said of a president who violates the clause, “If discovered he may be impeached”: . . .

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Written by LeisureGuy

22 January 2017 at 6:44 pm

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