Politicspolitics

Mon May 13, 2019, 04:19 PM

Why the Democrats are suing Trump

If Trump had just divested and placed his business interests in an irrevocable trust for his time in the White House, like every other president, he could have avoided all the fuss and kept his tax returns confidential.

From Citizens For Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW):
“President Trump controls an organization made up of hundreds of companies in at least 20 countries. The Trump Organization operates hotels, buildings, golf resorts, and other businesses, and also sells the right to use the Trump name to brand properties and other businesses his companies do not own. Despite numerous bipartisan calls well before his inauguration for President Trump to follow the example of EVERY OTHER MODERN PRESIDENT and sell his interests in these businesses, and in the face of warnings that failure to do so would give rise to intractable conflicts of interest, President Trump has refused to divest. As a result, the American people have no way of knowing whether key decisions in the areas of taxes, regulation, environmental policy, employment and housing discrimination, foreign policy, trade, and many others are being made in the best interest of the country or in President Trump’s own financial interest. Further, these businesses present opportunities for those who wish to curry favor with the president. And when these businesses receive payments or benefits from foreign or U.S. federal and state governments – as the evidence shows they do day in and day out – President Trump violates our fundamental anti-corruption laws: the Constitution’s Foreign and Domestic Emoluments Clauses.

Instead of divesting, President Trump placed his sons Donald, Trump Jr. and Eric Trump and one of his long-time business partners in operational control of the Trump businesses. President Trump retained his interest in the businesses primarily via a revocable trust – a financial arrangement by which the businesses are required to be operated in his financial interest, which he can unilaterally change at any time, and from which he can effectively draw funds at any time. This purely nominal separation leaves all of the relevant financial conflicts in place, and therefore provides no assurance that President Trump’s actions as president serve the interests of the public, rather than contribute to his own wealth. Indeed, reports already suggest that President Trump may be receiving regular updates on the businesses from his son.

One financial interest that loomed large over President Trump’s first 100 days in office was the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., located blocks from the White House on property leased from the United States government. In addition to being a major source of potentially illegal foreign emoluments – the hotel even hired a salesperson dedicated to seeking business from foreign diplomats – President Trump’s decision to retain his interest in the hotel while holding office violates the conflict of interest provision of the lease that allowed him to build the hotel in the first place. President Trump is now effectively both landlord and tenant, having appointed the official heading the General Services Administration, the agency that manages federal government proper. Not surprisingly, when pressed by outside groups and concerned members of Congress to reconcile how President Trump could be permitted to benefit from the lease despite a provision barring exactly that, the agency’s explanation lacked a legal or rational basis.

Another remaining potential source of conflict is Trump Tower in Manhattan, particularly its tenants. The Chinese state-owned Industrial & Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) is the largest commercial tenant in the building and is due to renegotiate its lease in October, paying almost $2 million in rent for its Trump Tower space. ICBC remains the world’s biggest lender when ranked by assets and may be negotiating a lease with President Trump’s firm during his administration. At the same time that President Trump is in a business relationship with a Chinese government-owned entity, he also is making U.S. foreign policy toward China.”
https://www.citizensforethics.org/president-trumps-failure-divest-root-issue/

25 replies, 321 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 25 replies Author Time Post
Reply Why the Democrats are suing Trump (Original post)
jh4freedom May 13 OP
New Deal Democrat May 13 #1
Valishin May 13 #3
KittyCatIdiots May 13 #4
New Deal Democrat May 13 #5
Valishin May 13 #7
New Deal Democrat May 13 #13
Valishin May 13 #17
New Deal Democrat May 14 #19
Valishin May 14 #20
New Deal Democrat May 14 #21
bfox74 May 14 #22
Valishin May 14 #23
New Deal Democrat May 14 #24
Valishin May 14 #25
jh4freedom May 13 #6
Valishin May 13 #8
jh4freedom May 13 #10
Valishin May 13 #18
KittyCatIdiots May 13 #2
foia May 13 #9
Tolk May 13 #11
rahtruelies May 13 #12
quad489 May 13 #14
DavesNotHere May 13 #15
Nostrings May 13 #16

Response to jh4freedom (Original post)

Mon May 13, 2019, 04:27 PM

1. Because he thinks he should not be subject to our laws.

So far it seems he's been right about that. Rejoice, patriots!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to New Deal Democrat (Reply #1)

Mon May 13, 2019, 04:32 PM

3. There is no

law that states he needs to sell off his holdings.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Valishin (Reply #3)


Response to Valishin (Reply #3)

Mon May 13, 2019, 04:45 PM

5. If that's all there is to it, then we don't have a problem.

Do you think that's all there is to it?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to New Deal Democrat (Reply #5)

Mon May 13, 2019, 04:58 PM

7. It worked for

George Washington

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Valishin (Reply #7)

Mon May 13, 2019, 06:46 PM

13. George Washington owned slaves.

That worked for him. But there's been some changes since then.

There is no law that requires Trump to sell off his holdings. Do you think that is all there is to it? Or not?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to New Deal Democrat (Reply #13)

Mon May 13, 2019, 08:46 PM

17. Yes that is

all there is too that specific subject. There is nothing wrong with property ownership used for business purpose even for the president.

The only reason this is even a question, is because of Trump Derangement Syndrome. The fact that he is in the way of the progressive agenda, results in a throw everything at him including the kitchen sink in hopes something will stick mentality.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Valishin (Reply #17)

Tue May 14, 2019, 12:46 AM

19. Have you ever heard of the Constitution's Foreign and Domestic Emoluments Clauses?

It's right there in the OP. Guess you didn't read that far.

These Clauses are really the subject at hand. Trump can decide how he complies with their requirements. Selling is one tactic, and forming a blind trust is another. It's his choice how he does it, but compliance with the Emoluments Clauses is not optional.

So you see, there is a great deal more to it besides, "Trump doesn't have to sell his property."

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to New Deal Democrat (Reply #19)

Tue May 14, 2019, 02:05 AM

20. Yes, doesn't apply to this situation

the problem you have with emoluments is the attempt to classify something that is not as something that is

again ask George Washington one of the richest farm owners in the US both before and during his presidency. True his land wasn't as profitable while he was a politician but it still ran at his direction and sold goods.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Valishin (Reply #20)

Tue May 14, 2019, 04:08 AM

21. What Washington did secretly is not precedent.

Precedents are public examples. We will never know how the nation might have reacted if Washington's secret business deals had become widely known in those days.

What do you think would be examples of violations Emoluments Clause violations? Surely there must be something an elected official could do to run afoul of these Clauses. Otherwise why would they exist at all?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to New Deal Democrat (Reply #21)

Tue May 14, 2019, 05:27 AM

22. Secretly? People visited Mount Vernon constantly whenever he was there.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to New Deal Democrat (Reply #21)

Tue May 14, 2019, 09:53 AM

23. He didn't secretly do anything

he continued to own and run his plantation while selling and making a profit off of those goods all while he was president. The plantation didn't run as well as before mind you which is why upon retirement from politics he went back to put more focus on the plantation and get it back to his pre-president level of production.

Emoluments are gifts intended as bribes. Be they monetary or symbolic. For example, a sitting president accepting being knighted by the Queen of England, some monarch granting him the status Duke of Blabitybla, also being gifted a new high tech plane for his/her personal ownership.

What is not an emolument is a market based exchange of goods or services.

The issue people keep trying to touch on with emoluments because that way they claim its against the Constitution, is the one where they believe Trump is making decisions specifically to provide profit for his businesses. The problem there is that's not an issue of emoluments that's simply conflict of interest. Which would be a reasonable critique if there were examples of it happening. The closest anyone has come are his trips to Florida and the fact that secret service ends up paying for rooms as well. The problem there is no matter where the president travels those same logistical expenses occur, and if it were tactically feasible secret service can and depending on the situation sometimes fulfill those logistical needs through over vendors. However, its usually best that they be co-located. What people want to see is Trump as major if not majority shareholder in that business dictate to management that they provide all lodgings for free, to which any other shareholders would be expected to tell Trump to get bent their business doesn't provide free services.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Valishin (Reply #23)

Tue May 14, 2019, 10:28 AM

24. Washingon himself said he wanted to keep secret his contacts with an English official.

And his speculation in public land auctions was highly questionable, but never really questioned. Logic suggests this would not have been the case if these transactions had been publicized at all.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to New Deal Democrat (Reply #24)

Tue May 14, 2019, 02:21 PM

25. Now there's a good example

if Trump bought some land say from a public auction then turned around and used his authority to get that land included in a purchase by the government at inflated rates that would be a problem. However, if he bought some land held it, even developed it and the government had a need that he did not push for and purchased it at market value then that's not a problem.

Likewise, if he used his position to purchase public land at prices not available to anyone else that would be a problem. But if he placed a bid on a piece of public land as part of a process open to everyone else then that's not a problem.

You see the difference here is market based transactions vs privileged transactions. Which is why his publicly owning companies that he isn't directly running and more importantly isn't using this authority to assist is entirely ok. The one "complaint" that could be made is about the president getting to choose to work remotely anytime he wants and that is very costly to the taxpayer and yes the place he likes to go is also one he owns. That's no different than what every president has done having a home that they would travel to when they wanted to be out of town. Trump just does it more than others, but not more than he did as a civilian so its not some change in pattern to represent an effort to fleece the public coffers.

But again all of this this still wouldn't be emoluments that's something completely different.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Valishin (Reply #3)

Mon May 13, 2019, 04:46 PM

6. Not sell off his holdings

Place them in irrevocable trust which is a type of trust where its terms cannot be modified, amended or terminated without the permission of the grantor's named beneficiary or beneficiaries.
As soon as Trump is no longer an office holder, he gets control of his billions again.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to jh4freedom (Reply #6)

Mon May 13, 2019, 04:59 PM

8. There is no law

that requires that either. Its a good idea, which is why his kids run the company instead of him. However, it is not required.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Valishin (Reply #8)

Mon May 13, 2019, 05:11 PM

10. Did anybody posting here say it was required?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to jh4freedom (Reply #10)

Mon May 13, 2019, 08:46 PM

18. In the context of this topic

And the post that started this sub-thread

"Because he thinks he should not be subject to our laws"

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to jh4freedom (Original post)


Response to jh4freedom (Original post)

Mon May 13, 2019, 05:02 PM

9. More lefty whining

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to jh4freedom (Original post)

Mon May 13, 2019, 05:11 PM

11. That's a lot of paragraphs

Just to state that the democrat party has become the Soviet party.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to jh4freedom (Original post)

Mon May 13, 2019, 06:27 PM

12. npc alert

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to jh4freedom (Original post)

Mon May 13, 2019, 07:33 PM

14. ''he could have avoided all the fuss and kept his tax returns confidential''...and the BULLSHIT...

...claims continue by someone here who obviously hasn't been paying attention to all the democrat/lefty whining/bitching/moaning/etc to see his tax returns for the past 3+ years.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to jh4freedom (Original post)

Mon May 13, 2019, 07:44 PM

15. What happened first, the Dems demanding his taxes or Trump getting elected?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to jh4freedom (Original post)

Mon May 13, 2019, 08:24 PM

16. Because dems are scared sore losers.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Politicspolitics