Following Trump’s Admission He Pocketed Millions From Foreign Governments As President, Oversight Democrats Demand Trump Return Money He Accepted in Violation of Constitution

Jan 12, 2024
Press Release
Oversight Democrats Also Demand Trump Provide Congress a Full Accounting of All Foreign Government Emoluments He Illegally Accepted In Office

Washington, D.C. (January 12, 2024)—Today, Rep. Jamie Raskin, Ranking Member of the Committee on Oversight and Accountability, sent a letter to former President Donald Trump demanding he return $7.8 million he freely admitted to accepting from foreign governments, without Congressional consent, in violation of the U.S. Constitution’s Foreign Emoluments Clause.  Ranking Member Raskin is also demanding that Trump provide Congress with a full accounting of the total amount of foreign emoluments he accepted as President at all of his businesses because current numbers represent just a fraction of his complete take.  The letter follows an Oversight Democrats staff report that found Trump violated the Constitution by accepting payments at four businesses from at least 20 foreign governments, including the governments of China, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, and Malaysia while he was in office.

 

“I write today to demand that you immediately return to the American people the $7,886,072 that we know you have accepted from foreign governments in violation of the U.S. Constitution’s Foreign Emoluments Clause—a fact you admitted, once again, at a Fox News town hall this week.  Given that this is a fraction of your unconstitutional collections from foreign governments and that we do not yet know the complete sum of foreign money you accepted while in office, I also demand that you give Congress a full accounting of the money, benefits and other emoluments ‘of any kind whatever’ you pocketed from foreign governments or their agents during your term as President and that you return the total sum of these foreign emoluments to the American people by writing a check to the U.S. Treasury like the one attached, which you received from the Kuwaiti government,” wrote Ranking Member Raskin.

 

In his letter, Ranking Member Raskin is demanding Trump provide a full accounting of all the payments he received from foreign governments while in office to determine the precise amount he owes to the American people.  The Constitution’s Foreign Emoluments Clause prohibits the President from receiving any payments from foreign governments without Congressional approval.

 

The $7.8 million in prohibited foreign emoluments detailed in the report is likely only a small portion of the total payments President Trump received from foreign powers while Commander-in-Chief as this figure is based on incomplete ledgers and receipts covering just two years of his presidency and just four of his more than 500 businesses.  Chairman Comer worked in coordination with Donald Trump’s attorneys to end the court-ordered document production between Mazars and the Committee and formally dismissed the court-supervised settlement, preventing a full accounting of the foreign emoluments former President Trump accepted.

 

“Yet even this narrow window revealed that you accepted at least $7.8 million from at least 20 foreign governments, including China, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Malaysia, the Philippines, Turkey, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.  Each of these countries sought—and in many cases obtained—favors and specific policy outcomes from you and your Administration while they made these payments.  Your violations of the U.S. Constitution and failure to place your duty of loyalty to the American people over your personal financial interests were entirely willful and knowing.  You chose not to divest of your ownership of the more than 500 business entities you owned when you entered the White House, despite the advice of ethics experts from across the political spectrum, and you did not adopt a rule of refusing foreign government payments,” continued Raking Member Raskin.

 

Click here to read today’s letter.

 

Click here to read the report.  Click here to read the underlying documents.

 

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118th Congress