Nov. 29, 2016
Public Citizen Applauds Emoluments Clause Resolution Introduced in the Senate
Statement of Lisa Gilbert, Director, Public Citizen’s Congress Watch Division
Note: The Emoluments Clause, Article I, Section 9, Clause 8 of the U.S. Constitution, provides that “no 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.”
President-elect Donald Trump was elected with a mandate to drain the swamp, but his actions suggest that he intends to reign the swamp. Prior to his inauguration in January, Trump must demonstrate to the American people that he does not intend to use the office of the president for personal enrichment.
Today, U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) introduced (PDF) an important resolution stating that it is the sense of the U.S. Congress that Trump should convert his assets to simple, conflict-free holdings, adopt blind trusts or take other equivalent measures to ensure compliance with the Emoluments Clause of the U.S. Constitution.
The resolution notes that, in the absence of specific actions by the president-elect before he assumes office or specific authorization by Congress to deal with his foreign conflicts, Congress will regard dealings by Trump-owned companies with any entity owned by a foreign government as potential violations of the Constitution.
Public Citizen applauds this resolution and urges every member of Congress to support it.