Thursday, June 01, 2017

Another broken promise and a legal snag: Trump's not tracking foreign payments at his hotels (kerry Eleveld) · Wednesday, May 24, 2017, 2:06 pm

When serious questions arose during the transition over Donald Trump's potential for violating the Emoluments Clause as president, Trump promised to avoid legal trouble by donating all his business profits from foreign governments to the U.S. Treasury. Pause here—are you sitting down, dear reader? Okay: the Trump organization hasn't really been tracking such foreign payments and thus is poised to break another Trump promise, not to mention put him in legal jeopardy, reports NBC:

The Trump Organization does not "attempt to identify individual travelers who have not specifically identified themselves as being a representative of a foreign government entity," according to a new company pamphlet. The policy suggests it is up to foreign governments, not Trump hotels, to determine whether they self-report their business.

That policy matches what several sources told MSNBC — Trump Organization employees are not soliciting information about whether reservations or business is from a foreign government.

Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings isn't too happy about the development and has been less than impressed by the Trump organization's cooperation with the House Oversight Committee. Cummings wrote the organization's executive vice president and chief counsel George Sorial on Wednesday:

Complying with the United States Constitution is not an optional exercise, but a requirement for serving as our nation's President. If President Trump believes that identifying all of the prohibited foreign emoluments he is currently receiving would be too challenging or would harm his business venture, his options are to divest his ownership or submit a proposal to Congress to ask for our consent.

The Oversight Committee has been seeking documentation from the Trump organization regarding its supposed commitment to donating all foreign payments to the Treasury Department. Cummings said the outfit's "meager response" hasn't included "the vast majority of documents" the committee has requested. The committee is again requesting a briefing on the matter from the Trump organization on or before June 2, 2017.


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