As impeachment investigations continue to be taken up in Democrat-controlled House Committees, the Oversight Committee has been looking into an allegation that groups have rented rooms in hotels owned by Donald Trump to gain favor with the president.
Politico reported the Democrats say that Trump could have broken the law by accepting money from “U.S. or foreign governments” at his properties.
“Now we’re looking at near raw bribery,” Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA), a House Oversight Committee member who chairs the subcommittee with jurisdiction over Trump’s hotel in Washington, said in the Politico report.“That was the risk from Day One: foreign governments and others trying to seek favor because we know Trump pays attention to this. … It’s an obvious attempt to curry favor with him.”
Politico reported on what sparked yet another investigation:
The investigation began after the committee received information that two entities — a trade association and a foreign government — booked a large quantity of rooms but used only a fraction of them, according to a person familiar with the allegation who isn’t authorized to speak for the committee.
The emoluments clause of the Constitution forbids a president from profiting from foreign governments or receiving any money from the U.S. government except his or her annual salary.
The Politico report included remarks from several Democrats on the committee, including Rep. Ro Khanna, (D-CA).
“If true, at minimum, this suggests there is a culture of corruption that the administration has created,” Khanna said. “There’s a sense that to curry favor you have to engage in pay to play. That’s exactly what the American people hate about Washington.”
“Trump has repeatedly denied that he is using the presidency to promote his resorts,” Politico reported.
“I have a lot of hotels all over the place, and people, they use them because they’re the best,” Trump told reporters last month.
“Trump already faces lawsuits alleging he violated the Constitution by accepting payments from foreign officials at his resorts and hotels,” Politico reported. “His company donated nearly $200,000 to the U.S. Treasury in February that it said came from profits from foreign governments, but watchdog groups say the amount should higher.”