The election of Donald Trump as the next President of the United States has created a problem that we have not faced before. He will be one of the wealthiest Presidents in modern history and that is part of the problem. We have had wealthy Presidents in the past but most of them had their wealth from family or had long retired from the business world. Trump has been an active leader in his company and will be so right up until the inauguration.
This has sent the left wing politicos in this nation into a tizzy. They prefer their leaders to be career politicians and not business people. They don’t mind if they are wealthy just so long as the money does not come from actually doing business in the world. So now they are demanding that Donald Trump separate himself entirely from his business and force his children to leave the business as well. Would they have been insisting that Bill Clinton refrain from any speaking engagements if Hillary had won? Would the insist that Chelsea not be allowed to operate a foundation that would obviously garner large contributions based on her parents being a former and current President?
Now let me get right in front of their first rejoinder. If any of you continue to espouse the belief that foreign governments did not contribute to the Clinton Foundation expecting anything in return then I suggest you see how many of them donate millions of dollars now that she has lost the race. A good barometer for this was the foundation set up by former House Majority Leader Tom Delay. Democrats were highly critical of this organization, which was set up to help foster children. In fact they were right to be critical. The donations that came in with the hope and expectation that they would get some favor or access. After he left Congress those donations dried up and the foundation went out of existence. The same principle existed with the Clinton Foundation. They donated with the expectation of access to the Secretary of State and evidence exists that they achieved their goal. If you want some more information about the Clinton Foundation click the link below:
But I need to get back to the problem facing President-elect Donald Trump. There is no easy answer for the question facing him. This is an active and dynamic business. His children are active in the business. He can, and must, separate himself from the business but he should not be required to dissolve the business or remove his children from their livelihoods. They have proven they are hard workers in the business and just because their father has been elected to office they should not have to change their career paths. You can bet those demanding this had not problem with Chelsea Clinton getting a cushy $600,000 a year job at NBC upon graduation.
The liberals have pounced on the Emoluments Clause in the Constitution to hammer away at Trump and his business interests. This language in found in Article I, Section 9, Clause 8 and states:
“No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.”
What they are saying is based on the premise that the Trump business interests are international in scope and therefore any profits that might accrue to the business would be to his benefit. Those foreign governments could use these benefits to so somehow gain access to the President with the promises of enriching him by conducting business with his business entities. It is a fair point and one that the President-elect would have to guard against.
But since we are talking about this section of the Constitution we should do a little research into how it came to be included by our Founding Fathers. They were concerned about members of the Federal government, particularly elected officials or appointed government officials, being influenced financially by foreign governments. They had seen this occur in England under the reign of Charles the Second. Almost all of his advisors and officers of state were getting a pension from the French government and this was a major blemish on his period on the throne.
One of the examples that are used so often is the new Trump International Hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, DC. This is the old Post Office Building that was competitively bid for restoration and the Trump Company won the bid. They have spent a great deal of money restoring the property and it is now rated as a Five Star hotel. But here come the Democrats and say that since it is a lease with the General Service Administration and there is language in the contract that says a government employee cannot benefit from the terms of the lease then Donald Trump must give up the hotel. Now you can bet if they had invested that much money in a project not a single one of them would feel it was justified that they have to give it up now that it is finished.
I don’t know the exact answer to how Trump divests himself from his business. It is obvious that he will return to the business after serving as President, whether that is for four or eight years. I don’t think it is fair to force a businessperson to completely sever his ties so that he cannot return when his term in office ends. If he were forced to sell everything then buyers would know it was a “fire sale” and bidders would be able to stay low. On the other hand perhaps some foreign entity jumped in and tried to big high. Then he would be accused of benefitting from his office. They will have to find some compromise or we are moving down a path where only career politicians scan run for office. I don’t think that is a good thing. After all, they have not done a very good job to this point