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Artículo The small legal detail that could bring about the impeachment of Donald Trump News

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The small legal detail that could bring about the impeachment of Donald Trump

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Playground Traduccion

10 Febrero 2017 15:52

'Instead of starting to "make America great again", the 45th president should read the constitution

and "make the president honest again."'

It's called the foreign-emoluments clause, and it could be the key to impeaching the new president of the United States. One pro-democracy group, Free Speech for People, is calling for precisely that.

There may be a way of ousting Trump from the White House and nipping four years of juicy headlines and attacks on common decency in the bud. It could be achieved by means seldom used in politics: impeachment. Experts argue that there is a legal basis for doing so. In fact, a citizens' initiative has already been launched to remove Trump. So far, it's been signed by more than 810,000 people from all over US.

The impeachment would be justified according to a clause, hidden away in the US Constitution, called the foreign-emoluments clause. In a recent article for Time Magazine, retired Justice James C. Nelson, and Free Speech For People president John Bonifaz, outlined the clause and explained why they think it should be used to impeach Donald Trump.
Here are some of the most relevant excerpts from that article:

Never heard of the foreign-emoluments clause? You're not alone. It's tucked away in Article I, Section 9, of the Constitution. It's clause number 8. It states, in pertinent part, '... no person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under [the United States], shall, without the consent of congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office or Title of any kind whatsoever, from any King, Prince or Foreign State.'

Where Trump runs afoul of the foreign-emoluments clause is that, first and foremost, he is a businessman with significant financial interests and governmental entanglements all over the globe.

Indeed, as Norman Eisen, Richard Pintor and Laurence Tribe stated at the Brookings Institution, 'Never in American History has a president presented more conflict of interest questions and foreign entanglements than Donald Trump.' Moreover, Trump's business dealings are veiled in complicated corporate technicalities and lack transparency.

The Trump Organization does or has done business in Argentina, Azerbaijan, Bermuda, Brazil, Canada, China, Egypt, Georgia, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Panama, Philippines, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, St Martin, St Vincent, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and Uruguay. And, while serving as president, Trump, through his interest in the Trump Organization, will continue to receive monetary and other benefits from these foreign powers and their agents.

Presidents and public officers often utilise blind trusts so as not to violate the foreign-emoluments clause. A truly blind trust involves an arrangement wherein the public officer has no control whatsoever over the assets placed in the trust – that means no communications with, from or about the trust, and no knowledge of the specific assets held for his benefit in the trust.

In the case of Trump's ownership in the Trump Organization, this could be achieved only by a complete liquidation of the assets, with the proceeds to be invested by an independent Trustee, without Trump's involvement or knowledge. Trump's decision to continue the business of the Trump Organization, continue to maintain his substantial ownership of the organization and turn the management of it over to his children, is woefully inadequate in addressing the emoluments clause.

Worse, taking the position that the foreign-emoluments clause doesn't even apply to him, Trump has stated that: 'I can be President of the United States and run my business 100 percent, sign checks on my business.' And: 'The law is totally on my side, meaning, the president can't have a conflict of interest.'

To address this unprecedented corruption of the Oval Office and this threat to our Constitution and our democracy, we believe Congress must move forward now with an impeachment investigation of President Trump. The president's possible conflicts of interest have become increasingly apparent.

In the meantime, instead of starting to 'make America great again', the 45th president should read the Constitution and 'make the President honest again'.

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