Ethics watchdogs and good-government types were quick to sound the alarm over Donald Trump’s apparent violation of the Foreign Emoluments Clause. Even before Trump was sworn in, experts were warning that his continued ownership of his business empire meant that he’d be accepting payments from foreign governments in violation of the U.S. Constitution. These could come in the form of payments for hotel stays by foreign diplomats, lease payments for office space from foreign state-controlled businesses, or any number of other ways. The issue is at the center of the first—and to date, most high profile—legal challenge to the president’s continued ownership of his for-profit business.
It turns out, though, that Trump may also be violating a different emoluments clause, one that specifically bars him from receiving money or gifts above and beyond his mandated salary from governments right here at home. Via Article II (emphasis mine):
The President shall, at stated Times, receive for his Services, a Compensation, which shall neither be increased 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 general possibility that Trump would run afoul of that clause earned a brief mention in the larger emoluments lawsuit filed by the Center for Ethics and Responsibility in Washington, or CREW, in…
click here to read more