Emoluments. To make a point about Trump and his emoluments, let me start with a hypothetical:
Let’s say Donald Trump were the United States President and he owned a privately held company called The Trump Organization, a company that made missiles. Further, let’s say the United States Department of Defense, using dollars from American taxpayers, paid The Trump Organization $6 billion dollars for missiles in 2018.
Would this scenario be any different than if the US bought $6 billion worth of missiles from Raytheon?
Yes, buying missiles from a company owned by the President would be drastically different than buying missiles from a company not owned by the President. And I think everyone in America, including every Senator, Congressperson and federal court judge would agree on how those two scenarios differ.
However, missiles, which our tax dollars buy, are no different than rounds of golf, food and beverages, or overnight accommodations, which our tax dollars also buy.
The Trump Organization and family receive millions of dollars of revenue from us, the US taxpayers every year. Those revenues are a flagrant violation of norms, ethics and laws, and Congress should put a stop to them.
Trump, his company and family receive emoluments not only from American taxpayers but from other people and countries around the world. The breadth of the gains that the Trump Organization and family receives is astounding.
Although the Trump Organization has made a few payments to “pay back profits” to the Treasury, those payments don’t begin to correct the problem. The illegal emoluments are not only the “profits” but also the revenue the Trump Organization receives. “Profit” is a nebulous term, since the Trump Organization can define it based on what it says are its expenses — this is ridiculous.
The payment of emoluments to the Trumps should stop, but I doubt it will, not until he is removed from office or fails re-election.
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