Sign in / Join

‘Grave concerns’ Trump not keeping promise to donate foreign profits, Dem says

The lead Democrat on the House Oversight Committee has “grave concerns” that the Trump Organization is failing to keep its promise to turn over profits from foreign governments to the United States Treasury in order to avoid potentially violating the Constitution.

In January, then President-elect Trump volunteered to donate Trump hotel profits gained from foreign governments to the Treasury in order not to run afoul of the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution, which prohibits U.S. officials from profiting from foreign officials.

At the time, company lawyer Sheri Dillon, said Trump "wants to do more than what the Constitution requires.”

But Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md. complained Wednesday that the Trump Organization’s current explanation of its policy, which it provided as a response to congressional inquiry, falls short of the constitutional requirements.

The Trump Organization recently produced a small pamphlet, released by Cummings’ office, outlining its new policy, saying that taking a precise inventory of foreign government transactions is “impractical in the service industry” and would “diminish the guest experience of our brand.”

Instead of tracking every guest, the Trump Organization says it will track large banquets and events and do it’s best to “calculate” the rest, according to the pamphlet.

Trump resigned from his position in the Trump Organization and hundreds of associated companies, but did not divest as a number of ethics experts and others had called for.

Control of his businesses was handed over to his sons, Donald Jr. and Eric, and a longtime executive, Alan Weisselberg, but Trump maintained a financial stake through a trust established for the "exclusive benefit" of the president.

“Unfortunately, your meager response does not include the vast majority of documents we requested in our letter,” Cummings wrote in a letter dated today to a senior executive at the Trump Organization. “Instead, you provided only a single document — a glossy, eight-page pamphlet that contains a total of 40 sentences — and an email forwarding this pamphlet to various Trump Organization entities."

"This pamphlet raises grave concerns about the President’s refusal to comply with the Constitution merely because he believes it is ‘impractical’ and could ‘diminish the guest experience of our brand," said Cummings.

The Trump Organization did not immediately respond to a request for comment.