Definitive proof has emerged of President Trump’s violation of the Emoluments Clause of the U.S. Constitution (Article I, Section 9, Clause 8), an impeachable offense.
Citing their Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security submitted to a transparency watchdog group an invoice for an unnamed government official to stay at Trump’s luxury Mar-A-Lago resort at the taxpayers’ expense.
According to a letter from Robert D. Teetsel, Chief of the U.S. Coast Guard’s Legal Services Office obtained by PoliticusUSA, the March Mar-A-Lago stay was paid for with a Government Travel Charge Card.
The watchdog group, Property of the People, issued the following statement:
The White House National Security Council (NSC) paid over $1,000 for an unidentified guest to stay two nights at Donald Trump’s luxury resort Mar-a-Lago, according to an invoice obtained by transparency group Property of the People via a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. This payment, made with a U.S. government charge card, constitutes the first documented violation by President Trump of the Constitution’s Domestic Emoluments Clause. President Trump owns 99.99% of Mar-a-Lago, LLC directly, and the company’s profits are held in a revocable trust from which Trump may withdraw funds without restriction.
Though a series of suspicious revelations have recently come to light regarding Trump’s illegal practice of profiting from the presidency, as well as wining and dining foreign dignitaries, lobbyists and corporate CEOs at his private clubs, this letter constitutes hard proof of money changing hands that directly enriches the president.
Last month, the Secret Service was forced to stop renting a floor of Trump Tower, in order to protect the president, its owner, because the high price of guarding his family had maxed out the agency’s budget.
In addition to the Emoluments Clause, “the Compensation Clause (Article II, Section 1, Clause 7) bars the president from receiving emoluments from a state or the federal government besides his presidential salary.”
With this proof, it’s high time the Checks and Balances the Constitution was written to uphold take effect. We’re in impeachment territory now. How much more erosion of America’s democratic institutions and norms will it take for Congress to act?
Sheila Norton is a writer with ten years of Capitol Hill experience. Subscribe to the OD Action email to get all the hottest news delivered right to your inbox every day at www.odaction.com