Donald Trump loves Mar-a-Lago, his golf resort in Palm Beach, Florida. He loves it so much he has conducted matters of state there with foreign leaders. This has, of course, led to Trump profiting off the office of President while trying to keep the media — and the American people — in the dark. Not to mention the time he has spent golfing.
However, a question arises from Trump’s ownership of Mar-a-Lago and the subsequent doubling of the cost of membership just a week after Trump’s inauguration: Who is giving the President of the United States $200,000 for membership? And does this violate the Emoluments Clause?
The Emoluments Clause reads:
“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.”
An emolument is any form of payment. If you receive a salary from your employer, you are receiving an emolument. So if any representatives of foreign nations are spending money at any Trump hotel or, in this case, resort, then Trump is in violation of the clause.
This is exactly what Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) intends to find out.
According to The Hill:
“CREW on Monday announced that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will turn over visitor logs to Trump’s property by Sept. 8 as part of ongoing litigation with the group, who in turn will make them public.”
CREW filed suit in April to access visitor logs to Trump Tower, the White House, and his golf resort Mar-a-Lago. While the Department of Homeland Security professes to have no record of the comings and goings at Trump Tower, the suit for White House records is still pending. However, this ruling in favor of CREW in regards to Trump’s resort in Palm Beach and other locations is a victory on its own for the ethics watchdog.
Noah Bookbinder, CREW executive director, said this in a statement:
“The public deserves to know who is coming to meet with the President and his staff. We are glad as a result of this case, this information will become public for meetings at his personal residences, but it needs to be public for meetings at the White House as well.”
It will soon be known just who is visiting Trump’s resort when he is there. The motives might be anyone’s guess.
Featured image of Trump dining with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at Mar-a-Lago via Wikipedia