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Trump Organization Donates Foreign Profits To Treasury, But Won't Say Who Paid Them

by Countable | 2.27.18

What’s the story?

Concerns about emoluments, or the requirement for presidents not to accept gifts or payments from foreign governments, have dogged President Trump from the beginning of his presidency. In response, the Trump organization committed to donating all profits derived from business with foreign entities to the Treasury Department.

On Monday the Trump organization announced that they had made their first donation, based on "foreign government patronage" for 2017. However, according to the Washington Post, the organization declined to answer questions about details of the donation.

  • How much was donated?

  • Which foreign entities paid Trump businesses?

  • Which Trump properties serviced the foreign entities?

  • How was the amount of profit figured?

Unlike previous presidents, who have divested from their assets upon being elected, President Trump did not. He did place his assets in a blind trust and the Trump Organization is being managed by his sons. He can withdraw money from the organization at any time.

In a case concerning emoluments currently in front of the U.S. District Court in Maryland, one of several in process, District of Columbia Attorney General Karl A. Racine represents the District as a plaintiff. A representative of his office stated that the donation proves President Trump is in violation of the emoluments clause:

"With this announcement, President Trump’s businesses seem to confirm that they accepted payments from foreign governments in violation of the Foreign Emoluments Clause. Whether the Trump Organization donated the proceeds from those foreign emoluments is irrelevant to our case, but we would certainly be interested in learning more about which foreign governments have paid the President."

However, two emoluments cases against the president were already dismissed in December by a federal judge, who argued that decisions about violations of the emoluments clause fall to Congress.

What do you think?

Do you think the Trump organization should answer questions about the details behind their donation, or is it enough that they made it? Are you concerned about President Trump potentially violating the emoluments clause of the Constitution or not?

Tell us in the comments what you think, then use the Take Action button to tell your reps!

— Asha Sanaker

(Photo Credit: Pixabay / Creative Commons)

Countable

Written by Countable

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(69)
  • Kathy
    02/27/2018
    ···

    This is a big deal. How do we know what foreign governments spent money at Trump properties? What favors may they expect? How much money was donated and was that all of the "profits"? This president claims transparency but shows only what he wants to show-still no tax returns! Get this criminal out of office!!!

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  • Donna
    02/27/2018
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    This is just another example of DJT and his family believing they are above the laws of this nation and that their positions are meant to enrich them. Congress needs to immediately demand a full accounting of the foreign governments that spent money at a Trump property since 01/20/2017 and release that information to the American people. This administration serves US, not DJT's private business concerns. It is bad enough Congress has done nothing regarding the lax policy around security clearances or the nepotism or the lack of transparency in the white house. Knowing if the president is beholden to any foreign government is something all Americans need to know. Allowing this opaque WH continue to operate in a total vacuum is completely unacceptable.

    Like (33)
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  • Robert
    02/27/2018
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    How many laws is this president going to have to break before Congress does anything? Why is this guy still president

    Like (25)
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  • NoHedges
    02/28/2018
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    Until congress gets off its ass and does what it was designed to do, we only have the word of a man who told nearly TWO THOUSAND LIES during his first year alone. Which, if you ask me, is as big of an issue as Trump's refusing to disclose his taxes. Honestly, it looks to me like 45 is dogging the Muller investigation. 💣Please Trump resign before even your grandchildren can't escape the toxic legacy you're leaving behind.

    Like (16)
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  • Timnyc
    02/27/2018
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    Hold this President to the rule of law and the same standard that all other Presidents have done . Show the people the tax returns the payments and the bottom line. Based on his past he lies at every turn so show me the books . Equal Justice under the law

    Like (15)
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  • Cathy
    02/27/2018
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    Yes they need to be transparent about who received and paid these profits and how profits are determined. Did they also pay taxes on those profits?

    Like (15)
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  • Phillip
    02/27/2018
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    The complete Details and paper trail of this “donation” needs to be made public. Since when has the US treasury been used to launder money?!?

    Like (13)
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  • Lexpost
    02/27/2018
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    Ethics are still important. We already know he will sign legislation that will personally benefit him. We already know he will lie through his teeth about it. Why doesn’t he accept that the Russians stirred the pot in the 2016 election and are planning more of the same this year, and put the weight of his office behind the efforts to thwart them? Who does he work for? Is it the United States, or the Trump Organization, or perhaps the unknown individuals who paid above market prices for his condos around the world in cash?

    Like (12)
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  • Lola
    02/27/2018
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    Full transparency, full disclosure, show us trumps taxes, make him be honest

    Like (12)
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  • Truly
    02/27/2018
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    So, now our government is taking foreign bribes directly instead of through individual politicians?

    Like (10)
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  • Paul
    02/27/2018
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    I think it does matter from where the commander-in-chief derives his profit when it comes to foreign entities, as these same entities may be the exact ones who wish our country harm — or not. In this case, intent is VERY important.

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  • Cindylen
    02/27/2018
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    Trump is not to be trusted. He refused to divest from his assets, which means that every decision he makes is made purely on whether or not it will bring profit to him. Just like I would not want to use a kitchen knife that was previously used as a murder weapon, I don’t want to use this money from a questionable source. We know that he launders his money, by accepting it, we create our reputation as a nation. Symbols and details matter in an honorable nation.

    Like (9)
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  • Judith
    02/28/2018
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    Nyet!!!

    Like (9)
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  • Karan
    02/27/2018
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    Honestly who gives a f**k where he got the money from? He’s not keeping it. It’s going to the Treasury. Countable, stop making a big deal out of nothing.

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  • mnlauren
    02/27/2018
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    we should be concerned about trump’s actions since he repeatedly puts his own best interests ahead of the American people! He routinely criticizes the Justice Department and the FBI for doing their jobs. Trumpty dumpty will have a great fall!

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  • KansasTamale
    02/27/2018
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    The Emoluments Clause has been bent/and manipulated by Trump and his organization. Making a donation to the federal government of foreign funds received is admitting that they have done something WRONG - "With this announcement, President Trump’s businesses seem to confirm that they accepted payments from foreign governments in violation of the Foreign Emoluments Clause.

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  • DrCindyBean
    02/28/2018
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    Emoluments violations constantly. Corrupt criminals in our WH. Get them out.

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  • Marylynn
    02/28/2018
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    Well if we're to believe Cadet Bone Spurs, he's all about transparency.

    Like (6)
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  • J. scott
    02/28/2018
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    Why do we keep taking his word for things that are the people’s business. Outrageous. 😂

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  • Countryfirst
    02/27/2018
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    Follow the corrupt money and even you money grubbing cowards (republicans) will IMPEACH THE MORON IN CHARGE #45

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