Fox News legal analyst says Trump's new G7 plan is a 'direct and profound' violation of the Constitution

Fox News legal analyst says Trump's new G7 plan is a 'direct and profound' violation of the Constitution
Fox News

Fox News personalities Neil Cavuto and Andrew Napolitano blasted the White House's announcement on Thursday that the United States will host the upcoming G7 meeting of world leaders at President Donald Trump's own Doral resort in Miami, Florida.


"Just the appearance level alone, the president of the United States rewarding his family-run business and perhaps one of its premier money-makers, the Doral Club Resort, to host this big event. The spillover effect from that, even at cost, is very good for whatever locale you choose," Cavuto said. (In fact, Trump's club appears to be in dire financial straits.)

Napolitano, a legal analyst for the network, expanded on the point.

"The Constitution does not address 'profits,' it addresses any 'present' — as in 'gift,"  any 'emolument' — as in cash, of 'any kind whatever' — I'm quoting here emolument's clause — from any 'king, prince, or foreign state,'" he explained. "The purpose of the emoluments clause is to keep the president of the United States of America from profiting off foreign money — here we go again! Not in the campaign, but in some event or entity that he controls or is running. He has bought himself an enormous headache with the choice of this. This is about as direct and profound a violation of the emoluments clause as one could create."

Jed Shugerman, a Fordham Law professor, added that while Napolitano's main point was correct, he was wrong on a caveat when he said: "Trump could invite all the governors at the [states'] expense, because the Presidential (or Domestic) Emoluments Clause bars state & fed payments."

The focus on the Constitution misses another key point. Regardless of what the Constitution says, the president selecting his own businesses to receive government contracts and payment is itself inherently corrupt, an abuse of power, and a galling conflict of interest. Of course, Trump does this all the time.

Watch the clip below:

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

Close
alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.