The typical collective over-the-top outcry from the left -- the one that comes to anything President Trump enacts or simply announces -- was working overtime this week.
No doubt you heard: The latest hectoring came after the president declared the next G7 Summit, set for June 2020, will be located at Trump National Doral in South Florida. That the resort is a property owned by the president has the Democrats, the mainstream media, anyone with a patina of #Resistance in their biographies shrieking for dear life.
The primary complaint is that the president is attempting to profit off the event; therefore, here they all come invoking the little-grasped Constitutional component known as the Emoluments Clause. The EC primarily forbids political leaders from accepting “any present, emolument, office, or title, of any kind whatever, from any king, prince, or foreign state.” The reason the Doral/G7 issue is a factor is the secondary “Domestic EC”, which pertains to benefits received from the federal government beyond compensation for services.
At the recent Democratic debate, this was invoked anew, even ahead of the Doral announcement. Bernie Sanders announced his desire for impeachment, as a result of the supposed emoluments violations. He expressed disdain over someone profiting while in office. Bernie Sanders said that. Sanders, the man who had to recently alter his campaign stump speeches where he was railing about “millionaires and billionaires,” to now only be angry at “billionaires.” This is due to the realization that Sanders, who has never held a private sector job, has become a millionaire himself with 3 homes, while being a career politician.
It’s only wrong for other politicians to get rich while in office, we surmise.
The hilarity over all of this emoluments screeching is that it is hardly a new concept with the president. There has already been action taken in three separate court cases involving Trump and this Constitutional component. One was brought up by the left-wing legal outfit Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW). The main complaint was, other businesses could not compete fairly against those owned by the president.
Another case was brought by the State of Maryland and the District of Columbia. The contention was that the Trump hotel was taking business away from other similar businesses in that region, and since the president had not properly divested ownership, we have an emoluments violation. The third suit is downright laughable. Two hundred Democratic members of Congress brought suit stating they should have been permitted to vote on allowing the president to accept emoluments before he allegedly received alleged emoluments.
This is the most bizarre of all because in no way was Congress prevented from voting on such. It was essentially a partisan group of congress members going to court because the body entire never brought a vote to bear. Being the legislative branch and asking the court to rule on a legislative concept is more than a stretch -- it is embarrassing. But that's the reality of all of these efforts. The courts have dismissed each one of them.
Even without emolument claims, there are multiple efforts being made to go after the attempt to stage the G7 Summit at Doral. Ben Crystal, host of "Last Stop on the Right," says he has sources inside the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation who say they have already been contacted by reporters from CNN and The Washington Post, demanding records from recent restaurant and hotel inspections of Doral.
David Farenthold, also of WaPo, has already contacted the mayor of the City of Doral because he wasn't contacted ahead of time about the Summit. Congress is already drafting resolutions, and a phalanx of journalists are sure to be descending on South Florida to ferret out any and all dirty nuggets they can about this facility. Now, ask yourself: Were the Summit to be hosted in another locale, would this much immediate mobilization be taking place? Of course not.
Any time prior to a Trump facility being employed for government use, there have been no revenues received beyond costs. Trump has forfeited his salary as president, and since taking office his holdings have actually dropped in value. This would be just another hurdle in proving Donald Trump is violating the Emoluments Clause -- when he is losing more than $100 million as president.
Brad Slager, a Fort Lauderdale freelance writer, wrote this story exclusively for Sunshine State News. He writes on politics and the industry and his stories appear in such publications as RedState and The Federalist.