What say; do you think that the authors of the Constitution were aware that they had singled out “Emoluments” as a conspicuously “Constitutional” issue; as opposed to being, in the main, a “criminal” issue? It makes sense: after all; giving and receiving gifts isn’t necessarily illegal. But, if you read the accompanying article carefully, and the Constitution, you will see that it is most definitely illegal if you are the President. Trump’s lawyers should have told him that, but he has no excuse for not knowing.
Why is “Emoluments” important? Because that was its intent. It was intended to be our primary constitutional bulwark against corruption and racketeering! The most serious abuses of power that the “Founders and Framers” could imagine were to receive a title (which always had a monetary and political value), or for there to be even a hint that money was exchanged for influence. This kind of conduct had to be seen as perfidy: there’s a lot of money in the world.
Also, Congress originally strictly and absolutely forbade the President’s salary be increased by even a penny during his term. And if he got a penny by any means, if was considered income. (which begs the question: has Trump paid income taxes on the reportedly tens of millions of dollars he has bilked the treasury for?)
In the 1770’s, as today, there were two main classes of “Emoluments” violations: the steady pilfering of government funds to, essentially, increase one’s salary and, “live like a king;” and, “looting the treasury” to amass a great fortune. Curiously, another issue that caused much dissatisfaction among the people in 1775 was, “quartering of troops;” which is making us pay for soldiers to live luxuriously. It seems that Trump is bound to repeat every mistake ever made.
Maybe Trump is above the law (and beneath contempt for abusing the privilege), but he is not above the Constitution.
The attached article is excellent. It does an amazing job of explaining “Emoluments,” clarifying the differences between the two entirely separate texts on the subject found in the Constitution, and other intricacies of the law.
The important thing to remember is that “Emoluments” is clearly defined in the Constitution; and even if a president may be above the law, he is not above the Constitution. And that there are constitutional remedies other than impeachment.
They (the House of Representatives) should hit Trump on three fronts: emoluments, election interference, and Obstruction of Justice. I have not an iota of compunction towards Donald “the Trump” Trump. We should use every resource we have, and grind him into dust.