These days we hear a lot of back and forth in the media about the Constitution especially the “Emoluments Clause”…..
Are you aware of what the “Emoluments Clause” has to say?
The Constitutional Provisions The Constitution mentions emoluments in three provisions, each sometimes referred to as the “Emoluments Clause”:The Foreign Emoluments Clause(art. I, § 9, cl. 8):“[N]o Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under [the United States], 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 Domestic Emoluments Clause(a.k.a.the Presidential Emoluments Clause) (art. II, § 1, cl.7): “The President shall, at stated Times, receive for his Services, a Compensation which shall neither be encreased nor diminished during the Period for which he shall have been elected, and he shall not receive within that Period any other Emolument from the United States, or any of them.”The Ineligibility Clause(art. I, § 6, cl. 2): “No Senator or Representative shall, during the Time for which he was elected, be appointed to any civil Office under the Authority of the United States, which shall have been created, or the Emoluments where of shall have been encreased during such time;and no Person holding any Office under the United States, shall be a Member of either House during his Continuance in Office.
Now what does the term “emolument” mean?
Black’s Law Dictionary defines an “emolument” as an “advantage, profit, or gain received as a result of one’s employment or one’s holding of office.” There is significant debate as to precisely what constitutes an “emolument” within the meaning of the Foreign and Domestic Emoluments Clauses, particularly as to whether it includes private, arm’s-length market transactions.The only two courts to decide this issue adopted a broad definition of “emolument” that includes profits from private transactions not arising from an office or employ.
Have you got all that?
I asked in an earlier post if we were having a Constitutional Crisis….and this goes along with that question in search of an answer.
Now the news that started this post…..as usual it was something the “Mouth on the Potomac” had to say…..
President Trump made what his opponents called a stunning admission during an ABC interview Wednesday: He said he would consider accepting damaging information on his 2020 rivals from foreign governments. “I think I’d take it,” the president told George Stephanopoulos. “I think you might want to listen, there isn’t anything wrong with listening,” Trump said. “If somebody called from a country, Norway, ‘We have information on your opponent’—oh, I think I’d want to hear it.” He rejected the suggestion that the information would be “interference” and said he would “maybe” go to the FBI if he thought there was “something wrong.” But “when you go and talk, honestly, to congressman, they all do it, they always have, and that’s the way it is,” Trump claimed. “It’s called oppo research.”
When Stephanopoulos told him that FBI Director Chris Wray had said the bureau should be contacted in such a case, Trump said: “The FBI director is wrong, because frankly it doesn’t happen like that in real life.” Trump’s remarks were swiftly condemned by potential 2020 rivals including Joe Biden, the BBC reports. Trump “is once again welcoming foreign interference in our elections,” he tweeted. “This isn’t about politics. It is a threat to our national security.” Former federal prosecutor David Weinstein tells Politico that Americans involved in elections have a “fundamental responsibility” to report contacts with foreign agents.
The FBI director is wrong? Seriously?
Now put any political affiliation aside…is this a violation of the Constitution? Or should we just ignore the Constitution when it confronts our favorite politician?