“President” Donald J. Trump backed down over the weekend on his plans to host the next G-7 at his Doral property, blaming the reversal on the Democrats and the media. Trump apparently forgot to mention that perhaps for the first time, someone in his inner circle made it clear that the Emoluments Clause might have something to say about his plans, and that his announcement might lead to additional articles of impeachment, and that is the real reason that he backed off.
Playing the victim now, which is apparently what he is focused on, he gave several nonsensical quotes to the press pool on Monday morning:
“I own a property in Florida.”
“I don’t need promotion. I don’t need promotion.”
“It would have been the best G-7 ever.”
“You people with this phony Emoluments Clause.”
“If you’re rich, it doesn’t matter.”
First and foremost, Trump should understand that the Emoluments Clause is real. It states in that little document, the United States Constitution, at Article 1, Section 9, Clause 8:
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.
The reasons for this clause are well-established, and no less an authority than the conservative The Heritage Foundation has explained the reasons for the emoluments prohibition:
“’One of the weak sides of republics, among their numerous advantages, is that they afford too easy an inlet to foreign corruption.’ The Federalist No. 22 (Alexander Hamilton). The delegates at the Constitutional Convention specifically designed the clause as an antidote to potentially corrupting foreign practices of a kind that the Framers had observed during the period of the Confederation.”
So, as always, Trump knows not of what he speaks. He cannot have the G-7 at his properties because it has the look, feel and reality of being a violation of the Constitution.