Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Another Trump scam: Despite promise, Trump’s business offers little information about foreign profits

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Drew Harwell and Tom Hamburger report in the Washington Post:

Despite President Trump’s promise to donate all profits from foreign-government sources at his Washington hotel and other businesses, recently released internal documents reveal that Trump’s private company has made only a limited effort at identifying foreign funds.

An undated document sent throughout the Trump Organization, called “Donations of Profits from Foreign Government Patronage,” says asking guests to identify whether they are connected to a foreign government would be “impractical” and “impede upon personal privacy and diminish the guest experience of our brand.”

“It is not the intention nor design of this policy for our properties to attempt to identify individual travelers who have not specifically identified themselves as being a representative of a foreign government entity,” the document says.

The company pamphlet shows the ease with which foreign money could be paid into the president’s business interests. Ethics advisers have warned for months that such foreign payments could be used to curry favor with the president and could run afoul of a constitutional ban.

The Trump Organization said it would track foreign-state money by reviewing three sources: direct billings to foreign governments; group, banquet and catering business with foreign governments; and payments from a “reasonably identifiable foreign government entity.”

But that description was similarly loose. The company said state-owned and state-controlled entities in industries such as banking and defense “may not be reasonably identifiable” and would not be included in profit donations.

Lawyers and ethics experts have said foreign-government payments to the Trump International Hotel Washington, a few blocks from the White House, would violate the Constitution’s rarely litigated emoluments clause, which forbids foreign gifts or payments to the president. Trump’s attorneys have said the constitutional ban should not apply to fair-market transactions such as stays at the president’s hotel.

The White House on Wednesday referred questions to the Trump Organization. The company said through a spokeswoman: “We take these matters seriously and are fully committed to complying with all of our legal and ethical obligations.”

In a letter Wednesday to Trump company executives, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.), the ranking Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, said the pamphlet showed the company had little interest in identifying foreign funds.

“Complying with the United States Constitution is not an optional exercise, but a requirement for serving as our nation’s President,” Cummings said. “If President Trump believes that identifying all of the prohibited foreign emoluments he is currently receiving would be too challenging or would harm his business ventures, his options are to divest his ownership or submit a proposal to Congress to ask for our consent.”

Trump has refused to divest his assets and instead placed much of his real estate empire into a trust managed by his sons and a longtime employee. The president can pull money from that trust whenever he likes, trust documents show. . .

Continue reading. There’s quite a bit more.

A lot of people who liked Trump said that they didn’t like Hillary because she lies. She’s not even in the same league as Trump.

Written by LeisureGuy

24 May 2017 at 3:11 pm

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