7 Foreign Governments Rented Condos In Trump Tower Without Congressional Approval, Possible Emoluments Clause Violation
In the eight months following Donald Trump‘s inauguration in 2017, foreign governments of seven countries sent notes to the State Department asking permission to rent or renew their leases in the Trump Tower. The governments included Kuwait, Iraq, Malaysia, Thailand, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia and the European Union, all of which got approval to rent a total of eight units.
Staffers on Capitol Hill told Reuters that the lease requests were never submitted to Congress. This could therefore be a potential breach of the emoluments clause in the Constitution, which bans officials from accepting gifts or payments from foreign governments without Congress’ approval.
Elijah Cummings, chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, said: “This new information raises serious questions about the president and his businesses’ potential receipt of payments from foreign governments… The American public deserves full transparency.”