Now that he's not president anymore, Trump gets to keep the money he gained unconstitutionally from his hotel properties. Buying the court was worth it for Republicans.
January 25, 2021

Thanks for the quid pro quo, SCOTUS.

Trump gets away with emoluments and gets to keep the money. Nice to know you're that corrupt.

Pete Williams explained the law to Hallie Jackson:

HALLIE JACKSON: Pete, you know, you taught many a lesson on the world emoluments during the former president's term. What does this move by the Supreme Court mean? How did we get here?

PETE WILLIAMS: It means we will never know the answer to the question about whether President Trump's business dealings violated the Constitution. You're right, the president gave the Constitution a good workout, and one of the seldom-seen corners of the Constitution was two clauses that said the president can't receive emoluments, meaning financial favors, benefits from foreign governments or states. These were two lawsuits that challenged the president's emoluments clause issue in terms of the Trump Hotel and the Trump International Hotel in New York, two lawsuits, one filed by the attorneys general in Maryland and in the District of Columbia, saying people who want to curry favor with the president will stay at the Trump hotel, use it for their convention business, their catering and so forth, to the disadvantage of district businesses, including the District Convention Center, and that violates the emoluments clause. A separate lawsuit on behalf of restaurants and other businesses in New York brought by a group called CREW, and the president fought these cases very hard in the lower courts, said, you know, that the lower courts were misunderstanding what emoluments were, what this didn't apply to him, that he wasn't benefitting financially. It was an interesting question, a question of the first impression that the courts have never resolved and now that he's no longer president, the justice department said to the Supreme Court, you need to dismiss these cases, they are now moot. The court agreed, but it took one step further, it wiped off the lower court rulings so there now are on the books no legal issues, no legal opinions on what emoluments are and whether they would apply in a situation like this. So it remains an unresolved question, we will have to wait until there is another rich guy in the White House who has businesses that potentially could profit him before we will get the answer to the question.

JACKSON: So that's it, Pete, right? There's nothing anybody can do. There have been some organizations that have been fighting this, pushing it, but this is done, right? There's no other way you can maybe bring something against a former president because presumably there would be no jurisdictional reason for it.

WILLIAMS: The constitution doesn't -- it's not a limit on former presidents, it's a limit on presidents. You know, the founders clearly didn't want the president -- we will just have to wait and see. Until Donald Trump, we never really had a president who had such extensive business interests and ties, and that's why this question had really never come up before. So we will have to wait now.

JACKSON: Right. A president who never fully divested from those interests. Thank you very much. It is always a master class with you in emoluments.

All the more reason to prevent him from ever holding political office again.

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