Does the Emoluments Clause Disqualify Trump from the Presidency?

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The forefathers understood the greed, and incompetence of the frail, but the useless underbelly of the most wealthy. They escaped that tyrannical rule when they left Britain and a monarch full of out of touch aristocracy. Today one can look at America and see that the circle has not been broken. After 241 years, America looks to a man without a core value to herd them forward in a generational gap of ultimate proportion. There is no common thread, no technological advantage that Donald J. Trump brings to the table. He can only brag, but not provide evidence of being successful, whilst there is case after case of Bankruptcy, Repossession, and closures of his businesses, and to note, several highly volatile and ill-repute ilk he has associated with and partnered with throughout the years.

The American authors of the Constitution had made it clear that there was no room for criminals, liars, cheats and thieves as President, and wrote the Constitution. The so-called Emoluments Clause is one such source and example. This clause has deep roots in America and negates participation by Presidents and other elected officials from gaining wealth from foreign entities. That was written into the Constitution by unanimous vote at the Philadelphia Convention in 1787, and it was explained – by James Madison, for example – as a necessary provision to “exclude corruption and foreign influence.” Today we witness such corruption and involvement as Russia and its “president” Putin.

The Emoluments Clause, a part of Article I and the powers of Congress.  It says specifically that “no person holding any office of profit or trust…shall, without the consent of Congress, accept…any present, emolument, office, or title, of any kind whatever, from any king, prince, or foreign state.” Emolument meaning a salary, fee, or profit. This in itself puts Donald Trump at risk with his unwillingness to remove all ownership in every enterprise that he has that could have exposure to foreign powers or countries from a hotel room, to a water bottle, if Donald makes a profit from an outside entity, he has broken the emolument clause. If Donald, in turn, gives such entities free items, then he is still in a spiral of illegality.

More interesting, and less discussed is the opportunity to sue for damages and costs associated improperly to the President or for the President that are not worthy expenses. There is also the possibility that a citizen could find a way to sue, under an old Civil War-era law, the False Claims Act if government money was paid out improperly to a Trump business entity.  The Act specifically allows for citizen enforcement. We see this in several cases to this point including Trump towers, the second group of security detail, and the like. It is the time that if the Elected officials are without a backbone to stand up for America, then America does have the right to stand up for itself.

Of course, the ultimate constitutional check would be an impeachment proceeding.  But that is such a seldom-used check upon the president (twice in history) that it probably would only be attempted in the most scandalous kind of business misconduct linked to the White House.  The Constitution does not define what impeachment charges can be brought (other than “high crimes and misdemeanors”), so it is up to the House of Representatives to decide what it believes would be appropriate.  The Senate actually tries the charges, but cannot decide what to charge.

Finally, we can look at the 25th Amendment and see that there is a gleam of hope to stopping a mentally unstable, duel personality, insecure narcissistic from continuing in the office of President.

Article II, Section 1, Clause 6 of the Constitution states:

In Case of the Removal of the President from Office, or of his Death, Resignation, or Inability to discharge the Powers and Duties of the said Office, the Same shall devolve on the Vice President, and the Congress may by Law provide for the Case of Removal, Death, Resignation or Inability, both of the President and Vice President, declaring what Officer shall then act as President, and such Officer shall act accordingly, until the Disability be removed, or a President shall be elected.

So while one who does not support the endeavors of Donald J. Trump, his bandwagon of sympathizers, there is a glimpse of hope. If one was to do the due-diligence, one would see action accruing quickly and succinctly. The Constitution was written to stop tyrants, egomaniacs, narcissist, and corruption in the highest office. Today one could argue correctly that each of the reasons to stop a Presidency from continuing is in place, and just needs the strength of hardy men and women to stand up for America, forget their own self gratification, and do what they were elected to do properly and to the office they hold as they pledged:

“The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.”
— U.S. Constitution, Article VI, clause 3

Can you agree that all Congresspeople are upholding their pledge if not protecting the country from an out of control President?

“I, AB, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion, and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.”

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

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The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author and are not not necessarily either shared or endorsed by iPatriot.com.

RANDY

I love America, and what the Constitution stands for. I love history and am aware of the sacrifices our forefathers went through to make America this free country. I am appalled that any American would desecrate her flag, spit upon her history, or warp her great history for their own greed. NOT A REPUBLICAN NOT A DEMOCRAT. A CONSTITUTIONAL CONSERVATIVE! A REAL PATRIOT. PART OF THE NEWCONSTITUTIONALCONSERVATIVE PARTY

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