How a New York Hotel Deal Could Still Be Earning Trump Profits Right Now

Since the start of his presidency, there have been concerns that President Donald Trump would violate the emoluments clause, which says that no person holding a federal office of profit or trust may accept any “present, emolument, (or) office . . . from any king, prince, or foreign state.”


Now it turns out that there is a similar provision of the Constitution, the so-called “domestic emoluments clause,” that Trump may be in the process of violating.

A Los Angeles investment fund known as the CIM group has received millions of dollars from public pension funds in at least seven U.S. states. These include both state-run and city-run pension funds, which pay the CIM group millions of dollars in quarterly fees to manage their investment portfolios. The CIM group also owns the Trump SoHo Hotel and Condominium in Manhattan, according to a report by Reuters. Becasue Trump can still withdraw money from his businesses at any time, the president is placed in a compromising position by the fact that the CIM group pays Trump International Hotels Management LLC for 5.75 percent of the hotel’s annual operating revenues.

According to Article II of the United States Constitution, the president is prohibited from receiving payments beyond his salary from state governments. This is colloquially known as the “domestic emoluments clause” because of its similarity to the better-known “emoluments clause,” which enforces a similar prohibition in terms of foreign governments. The domestic counterpart says that a president may not receive “any other emolument from the United States, or any of them.”

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