Is President Donald Trump Violating The Constitution’s Emolument Clause? | NBC News Now
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Is President Donald Trump Violating The Constitution’s Emolument Clause? | NBC News Now


WE WILL KEEP OUR SHARPEES OUT OF THIS ONE. THIS ONE.>>Reporter: ALL RIGHT.>>Reporter: ALL RIGHT. SOUND GOOD. SOUND GOOD.>>THANKS.>>THANKS.>>>THIS WEEK, VICE PRESIDENT>>>THIS WEEK, VICE PRESIDENT MIKE PENCE SPENT TWO NIGHTS AT MIKE PENCE SPENT TWO NIGHTS AT PRESIDENT TRUMP’S GOLF RESORTS. PRESIDENT TRUMP’S GOLF RESORTS. HE THOUGHT IT WAS AT PRESIDENT HE THOUGHT IT WAS AT PRESIDENT TRUMP’S SUGGESTION. TRUMP’S SUGGESTION. HE DENIED THE DECISION. HE DENIED THE DECISION. THIS IS REKINDLING A DECISION OF THIS IS REKINDLING A DECISION OF THE EMOLLIENT CLAUSES, HEAMERICA THE EMOLLIENT CLAUSES, HEAMERICA ARE FOOTING THE BILL FOR THE ARE FOOTING THE BILL FOR THE HOME. HOME. HE HAD HIS MEETINGS, O, OF HE HAD HIS MEETINGS, O, OF COURSE, IT MAKES SENSE FOR THE COURSE, IT MAKES SENSE FOR THE LEGAL PERSPECTIVE. LEGAL PERSPECTIVE. DANNY, WHAT DISCUSS THE DANNY, WHAT DISCUSS THE CONSTITUTION SAY? CONSTITUTION SAY? IT SOUND SO SILLY. IT SOUND SO SILLY. WHAT DOES THE COMPETITION SAY WHAT DOES THE COMPETITION SAY ABOUT THIS? ABOUT THIS?>>IF FRAMERS OF THE>>IF FRAMERS OF THE CONSTITUTION WERE ALMOST CONSTITUTION WERE ALMOST OBSESSED WITH CORRUPTION. OBSESSED WITH CORRUPTION. THEY WANTED TO AVOID IT AT NO THEY WANTED TO AVOID IT AT NO COST. COST. LOOK NO FURTHER THAN THE LOOK NO FURTHER THAN THE IMPEACHMENT CLAUSE THAT THE TWO IMPEACHMENT CLAUSE THAT THE TWO MENTIONED EXEMPLARY CLAUSES ARE MENTIONED EXEMPLARY CLAUSES ARE NOT MURDER, CRIMES OF THEFT, NOT MURDER, CRIMES OF THEFT, THEY ARE CRIMES OF CORRUPTION, THEY ARE CRIMES OF CORRUPTION, TREASON AND BRIBERY. TREASON AND BRIBERY. SO, INTO, THIS WAS THE REASON SO, INTO, THIS WAS THE REASON THEY PUT IN THE EMOLLIENTS THEY PUT IN THE EMOLLIENTS CLAUSES, THERE ARE FOREIGN AND CLAUSES, THERE ARE FOREIGN AND THE FOREIGN ONE IS ABOUT THE THE FOREIGN ONE IS ABOUT THE PRESIDENT NOT RECEIVING ANY PRESIDENT NOT RECEIVING ANY BENEFIT FROM ANY FOREIGN COUNTRY BENEFIT FROM ANY FOREIGN COUNTRY IN ADDITION TO HIS SALARY. IN ADDITION TO HIS SALARY. THE DOMESTIC EMOLLIENTS CLAUSE THE DOMESTIC EMOLLIENTS CLAUSE IS SIMILAR. IS SIMILAR. THE PRESIDENT HAS A SALARY. THE PRESIDENT HAS A SALARY. HE SHOULDN’T RECEIVE GIFTS OR HE SHOULDN’T RECEIVE GIFTS OR ADDITIONAL PAYMENTS FROM ADDITIONAL PAYMENTS FROM INDIVIDUAL STATES OR THE FEDERAL INDIVIDUAL STATES OR THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. GOVERNMENT. NOW IN THIS CASE IN IRELAND, IT NOW IN THIS CASE IN IRELAND, IT SEEMS AT FIRST PLUSH TO BE A SEEMS AT FIRST PLUSH TO BE A FOREIGN EMOLLIENTS CLAUSE ISSUE. FOREIGN EMOLLIENTS CLAUSE ISSUE. IN FACT, IT’S CLOSER TO A IN FACT, IT’S CLOSER TO A DOMESTIC EMOLLIENTS CLAUSE, THE DOMESTIC EMOLLIENTS CLAUSE, THE PAYMENT FOR PENCE IS NOT COMING PAYMENT FOR PENCE IS NOT COMING FROM A FOREIGN GOVERNMENT. FROM A FOREIGN GOVERNMENT.>>RIGHT.>>RIGHT.>>IT’S COMING FROM THE FEDERAL>>IT’S COMING FROM THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. GOVERNMENT. THERE IS PLENTY INVESTIGATION THERE IS PLENTY INVESTIGATION GOING ON ABOUT THE EMOLLIENTS GOING ON ABOUT THE EMOLLIENTS CLA US IN DIFFERENT FEDERAL CLA US IN DIFFERENT FEDERAL COURTS AROUND THE COUNTRY. COURTS AROUND THE COUNTRY. THE ISSUE IS STILL UNSETTLING. THE ISSUE IS STILL UNSETTLING. IT’S AMAZING MOST OF US DIDN’T IT’S AMAZING MOST OF US DIDN’T KNOW WHAT AN EMOLLIENT WAS TWO KNOW WHAT AN EMOLLIENT WAS TWO OR THREE YEARS AGO. OR THREE YEARS AGO. IT’S AN OUTDATED ANTIQUATED IT’S AN OUTDATED ANTIQUATED WORD. WORD. NOW IT’S BEING HEAVILY LITIGATED NOW IT’S BEING HEAVILY LITIGATED AND MUCH WILL TURN ON HOW IN THE AND MUCH WILL TURN ON HOW IN THE MODERN ERA WE DEFINE WHAT AN MODERN ERA WE DEFINE WHAT AN EMOLLIENT S. AN EXPANSIVE VIEW EMOLLIENT S. AN EXPANSIVE VIEW IS IF IF PRESIDENT TRUMP IS IF IF PRESIDENT TRUMP RECEIVES ANY BENEFITS, EVEN WITH RECEIVES ANY BENEFITS, EVEN WITH HIS HOTEL IN BETWEEN, HE’S HIS HOTEL IN BETWEEN, HE’S VIOLATED THE EMOLLIENTS CLAUSE. VIOLATED THE EMOLLIENTS CLAUSE. ON THE OTHER HAND, A RESTRICTED ON THE OTHER HAND, A RESTRICTED VIEW IS THAT AN EMOLLIENT, IT’S VIEW IS THAT AN EMOLLIENT, IT’S ONLY FOR PERSONAL SERVICES ONLY FOR PERSONAL SERVICES PERSONALLY RENDERED. PERSONALLY RENDERED. IF IT’S A RIDICULOUS EXAMPLE, IF IT’S A RIDICULOUS EXAMPLE, PRESIDENT TRUMP WAS DOING BED PRESIDENT TRUMP WAS DOING BED SERVICE OR BRINGING UP ROOM SERVICE OR BRINGING UP ROOM SERVICE OR TURNING DOWN THE SERVICE OR TURNING DOWN THE SHEETS, THAT WOULD BE SOMETHING SHEETS, THAT WOULD BE SOMETHING HE WAS BEING PAID FOR IF HE WAS HE WAS BEING PAID FOR IF HE WAS PAID DIRECTLY. PAID DIRECTLY.>>OKAY.>>OKAY.>>SO PENCE’S DEFENSE, WOULD IT>>SO PENCE’S DEFENSE, WOULD IT HOLD UP IN COURT, FOR EXAMPLE, I HOLD UP IN COURT, FOR EXAMPLE, I KNOW THAT WOULD UNLIKELY HAPPEN, KNOW THAT WOULD UNLIKELY HAPPEN, IF THIS WERE TO GO TO COURT, IF THIS WERE TO GO TO COURT, WOULD HIS DEFENSE HERE HELP? WOULD HIS DEFENSE HERE HELP?>>WELL THE KEY TO THE>>WELL THE KEY TO THE EMOLLIENTS CLAUSE IS ARGUING EMOLLIENTS CLAUSE IS ARGUING THAT EMOLLIENTS DON’T HAPPEN IN THAT EMOLLIENTS DON’T HAPPEN IN SUCH A WAY THE CONSTITUTION IS SUCH A WAY THE CONSTITUTION IS VIOLATED WHEN A HOTEL IS PAID VIOLATED WHEN A HOTEL IS PAID THAT THE PRESIDENT HAPPENS TO THAT THE PRESIDENT HAPPENS TO OWN. OWN. MAYBE YOU MAKE AN ANALOGY JIMMY MAYBE YOU MAKE AN ANALOGY JIMMY CARTER WHO ARGUABLY DIVESTED. CARTER WHO ARGUABLY DIVESTED. HE HAD A PEANUT FARM. HE HAD A PEANUT FARM. IF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT PAID IF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT PAID MONEY TO THAT PEANUT FARM AND MONEY TO THAT PEANUT FARM AND SOMEWHERE TRICKLED DOWN TO JIMMY SOMEWHERE TRICKLED DOWN TO JIMMY CARTER, THEN THAT DOESN’T COUNT CARTER, THEN THAT DOESN’T COUNT AS AN EMOLLIENT. AS AN EMOLLIENT.>>IT’S ABOUT HOW YOU DEFINE AN>>IT’S ABOUT HOW YOU DEFINE AN EMOLLIENT. EMOLLIENT. ACADEMICS ON BOTH SIDES DISAGREE ACADEMICS ON BOTH SIDES DISAGREE ON THIS ARGUMENT. ON THIS ARGUMENT. ANOTHER ARGUMENT IN THE ANOTHER ARGUMENT IN THE EMOLLIENTS WORLD IS WHETHER OR EMOLLIENTS WORLD IS WHETHER OR NOT IT’S WITHSTANDING. NOT IT’S WITHSTANDING. IT DOESN’T HAVE A REMEDY. IT DOESN’T HAVE A REMEDY. CAN ANY OF US BRING SUIT TO CAN ANY OF US BRING SUIT TO ENFORCE IT? ENFORCE IT?>>FASCINATING STUFF.>>FASCINATING STUFF. THANK YOU SO MUCH, IT’S THANK YOU SO MUCH, IT’S SOMETHING WE HAVE TROUBLE

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