Monday, June 12, 2017

Emoluments Violation? Depends

Following up on that report that Maryland and DC are suing Trump or violating the emoluments clause of the Constitution, a shocking little bit of information:
The suit by D.C. and Maryland says the two jurisdictions are faced with an “intolerable dilemma”: to either go along with the Trump Organization getting special treatment, including possible lost local revenue, or “deny such requests and be placed at a disadvantage vis-à-vis states and other government entities that have granted or will agree to such concessions.”


On the domestic side, the suit alleges Trump has received unconstitutional financial favors from the U.S. government. It says the U.S. General Services Administration, which handles federal real estate, wrongly allowed Trump’s company to continue to lease the Old Post Office building, where Trump built his D.C. hotel, even though a clause in the contract said no elected official could remain on the lease.

The GSA initially said Trump would have to fully divest from the hotel after the election. But after Trump proposed increasing GSA’s budget, the suit says, the agency issued a letter saying Trump was in full compliance.

The suit also alleges that Trump is violating domestic emoluments by creating a situation in which states feel compelled to compete for Trump’s favor, perhaps by offering zoning exemptions, waivers or other benefits to help his businesses.

After initially saying the Trump organization would not pursue new deals while he was in office, Trump’s sons announced last week that the company would begin building a network of new hotels in mostly red states that he won in last year’s election.

Jesus Fitzgeral Christ. Could this be any closer to government by crime syndication?
Racine and Frosh say that unless Trump is reined in under the emoluments clause, Americans can never be certain that, “underlying his travel ban, withdrawal from the Paris Accord climate deal or proposed tax cuts,” he is acting in the country’s best interest and not his own.
Dude, that ship has sailed.

...but hey, do what you will anyway.

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