Zephyr Teachout: Trump is Violating the Constitution

Diane Ravitch's blog

Just in from  law professor Zephyr Teachout:


Donald Trump is not selling his businesses. Therefore, he will be violating the foreign bribery/emoluments clause of the Constitution.

Article I, Section 9, Clause 8 specifically prohibits anyone holding office in our government to receive either “emoluments” or gifts from foreign states. Emoluments, in this part of the Constitution, means “payments.”

Trump’s lawyer, during today’s press conference, misinterpreted the plain meaning of the emoluments clause of the Constitution in a way that makes the phrase “emoluments” equivalent to “gifts” and therefore superfluous.

We have no reason to trust Trump on this. A bribe from Kings Louis XIV to Charles II for war neutrality between their countries was uncovered by parliamentary investigation, and the same will be required here: Congress must exercise its basic Constitutional responsibility and refuse Trump’s ability to accept any foreign payments absent full disclosure, review, and approval.

Thousands of…

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