Sunday, February 19, 2017

Flynn's dinner with Putin and paid appearance on RT violate the emoluments clause (mark Sumner) · Friday, February 17, 2017, 4:26 pm

Emoluments. If that word was unknown to you before this year, it’s likely because previous administrations were so careful to avoid even the appearance of conflicts of interest. But with Donald Trump leading the “the president can’t have a conflict of interest” parade, it’s not so surprising that the people he gathered around him also had a casual relationship with the law.

Michael Flynn’s famous 2015 trip to Moscow, at which he sat next to Vladimir Putin and jumped up to give the Russian autocrat a standing “O” turns out to be problematic for reasons other than sitting next to Vladimir Putin and giving him a standing “O.” On that same trip, Flynn also did a paid appearance for Russian state-owned media company RT. The “paid” part of that statement is an issue.

“If Lieutenant General Flynn is subject to recall [by the Defense Department] and accepted foreign government funds without congressional consent, then that is a foreign emolument and so a violation of the Constitution,” Eisen said, adding, “Nor would it be a merely technical one.”

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