Democrats to probe Trump’s plan to host G-7 summit at his Doral resort
WASHINGTON — The House Judiciary Committee said Wednesday it will launch an investigation into President Donald Trump’s desire to hold the G-7 Summit next year at his Doral resort in Miami.
“They love the location of the hotel,” Trump said during a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at this year’s G-7 gathering in southwest France. “We haven’t found anything else close to competing with it.”
In France earlier this week, Trump also dismissed questions about the ethical concerns raised by hosting an official event at one of his properties.
“In my opinion, I’m not going to make any money,” he said.
The probe will be part of the committee’s broader look into alleged abuses of power by Trump including potential violations of the Constitution’s Emoluments Clauses, which restrict the president from receiving things of value from foreign and domestic governments.
House Judiciary Chairman Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., and Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., chairman of a House Judiciary subcommittee on the Constitution, civil rights and civil liberties, released a statement discussing their concerns about a situation where foreign governments and the U.S. government would be required to pay one of Trump’s businesses in order to participate in next year’s G-7 summit.
“The President’s personal financial interests are clearly shaping decisions about official U.S. government activities, and this is precisely the type of risk that the Constitution’s Emoluments Clauses were intended to prevent.” the Democrats’ statement reads.
Nadler and Cohen continue: “Hosting the G7 Summit at Doral implicates both the Foreign and Domestic Emoluments Clauses, because it would entail both foreign and U.S. government spending to benefit the President, the latter potentially including both federal and state expenditures. More importantly, the Doral decision reflects perhaps the first publicly known instance in which foreign governments would be required to pay President Trump’s private businesses in order to conduct business with the United States.”
“The Constitution demands that President Trump’s private interests and official conduct remain separate, and this latest announcement demands scrutiny by Congress,” the two Democrats also said, adding that potential violations of the Emoluments Clauses “are of significant interest and grave concern to the Committee as it considers whether to recommend articles of impeachment. ”
Trump is also facing litigation about the Constitution’s Emoluments Clauses. A federal appeals court has ruled in his favor in one case but the ruling did not reach the merits of whether he is violating the Constitution. Another lawsuit filed by some congressional Democrats remains pending.
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The Democrats’ statement Wednesday also said the House Judiciary Committee will schedule a September hearing on the issue.
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Nadler confirmed the launch of an impeachment inquiry by his House panel earlier this month in an interview on CNN and the House Judiciary Committee is investigating many issues relating to Trump, his business dealings, his finances, among other things.
Nadler recently asked the chairs of other key House committees who are also conducting investigations into Trump to provide information to his committee.
He asked four other powerful Democratic House committee chairs for “documents and testimony, depositions, and/or interview transcripts that you believe may be relevant to the Judiciary Committee’s ongoing impeachment investigation relating to President Trump.”
Contributing: Bart Jansen