Closing Thought–13Jun19

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?

Good!

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?

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8 thoughts on “Closing Thought–13Jun19

  1. Have you seen any of the TV series, ‘The Looming Tower’? I recommend it, for an insight into how the FBI/CIA/NSA constantly compete against each other, and may well have allowed 9/11 to happen.
    Best wishes, Pete.

  2. If you take the broad definition a president would have to sell all his businesses, any real estate he owns other than a private resident, all his stocks and even close all his interest bearing bank accounts.
    Jimmy Carter put his business in a blind trust, but he still owned it and any profits made while he was in office went to him.

    I think it means gifts or bribes, not profits made from businesses, stock dividends or proceeds from sale of crops, livestock, real estate or collection of rents.
    Otherwise you are saying a businessman cannot be president.

    1. A blind trust is a good idea….he can make money just not have access to it until he leaves office….plus he cannot participate in the making of that cash either…..chuq

  3. Let us imagine a president or candidate for any office notifies the FBI on the offer from foreign government or any sources at all. Does it matter if its a domestic source or foreign source ? Should the president be kept abreast of findings of FBI as they develop ? When is it just mere opposition research and not a security or criminal matter ? What defines the difference ? Is the FBI director to keep a president in the dark ? Trump wanted to know if he was under investigation. If Trump was not under investigation he wanted Comey to make that public so the dems and media could no longer hammer him with the suggestion. Seems Comey would not tell him. If I was (or is it were, I don’t know ) president I would expect everyone I hire or appoint to tell me everything about anything or I would fire him. Are presidential appointments like FBI independent ? Or he could report contact to CIA and just keep it covert and deny everything as never happening and that would be CIA secret ?Then there is the matter of WIKILEAKS just publishing information for general public to see. We see what legal complications that created. Is there a difference between soliciting information from foreign sources and using it or merely accepting unsolicited information from foreign source and using it ? Then arises the matter of the legality of a president interfering in the elections of another country like Obama with Benny N in Israel or is that merely a president’s foreign policy prerogatives ? I’m asking chuq because I don’t have the answers to any of this. Re the emoluments stuff I think a clear quid pro quo has to be proven. Constitutional crisis ? Don’t think so. Information gathering capacity today and the myriad ways it can be used is far beyond the imagination of the founders. The possibilities are beyond the comprehension of most people today too. Manipulating people with information was very dramatically revealed in 1954 with Vance Packard’s HIDDEN PERSUADERS. The word is certainly out on me. I have been buying walking liberty half dollars 1916-1947 and have most now except the rare and very expensive ones. Now it seems every single silver hustler in the galaxy has my name, address, phone number and email. Appears I now have dozens and dozens of new “friends” . Since I’ll be 70 on June 18th do you think I’ll be getting tons of free silver ?

    1. If there are benefits that are not equal in the decisions of the voter then yes it is illegal and should be reported….Let me ask after decades of seeing boogey men in the shadows and told to report anything unusual when did it become okay for foreigners to insert themselves into our processes…….it seems now that only brown skin makes one a threat…..that is what I see this country becoming….chuq

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