President Donald Trump has caught the eye of a New York attorney following his behavior that may be in violation of the Constitution. Apparently, the president is using his position for the benefit of his private businesses, using his presence when visiting dignitaries to the advantage of his paying customers. Furthermore, Ivanka Trump’s products are also promoted in the same way, thus earning money off of it.
Evidently, the president is open to using his official position in the White House to earn profit for his family. This was found impossible to ignore by Howard Master, a top prosecutor who previously worked under the Manhattan US Attorney.
Mr Master was brought in by Eric Schneiderman, a critic who openly voices out his concerns regarding Donald Trump. He is also the state’s attorney general and hopes to have Mr Master work on the ongoing and future cases involving the current president. His presence also serves as a bolster for the New York state attorney while he is busy researching options to oppose Donald Trump.
At present, Mr. Schneiderman is busy working on the recently launched case by Washington state against Donald Trump’s executive order to ban immigration from six countries, most of which being Muslim as reported by Independent.
According to Mr. Schneiderman, “The Trump administration’s continued intent to discriminate against Muslims is clear and it undermines New York’s families, institutions, and economy.”
This successful prosecutor has a shining track record after prosecuting people including a former New York state assembly speaker, Sheldon Silver for fraud, extortion and money laundering back in 2015. According to Eric Soufer, a spokesman for Mr. Schneiderman, Mr. Master will be looking into civil and criminal investigations as well as enforcement matters.
Apparently, Mr. Schneiderman is no stranger in dealing with Donald Trump-related legal matters as he brought a lawsuit against Mr. Trump back in 2013. The said lawsuit contained claims of fraud regarding Trump University.
Back then, Mr. Trump allegedly scammed students for money amounting to thousands of dollars by failing to deliver the expectations from a university. The case was settled when Mr. Trump agreed to pay $25 million to bring matters to a close.
Moreover, complex civil litigation and public corruption are also on Mr. Master’s plate at the moment. Furthermore, Mr. Master will work on potential lawsuits to oppose Donald Trump. This supposedly includes litigation relating to Mr. Trump breaching the US Constitution.
Apparently, after assuming power, the president continues to receive foreign money brought in by his hotels and properties. All of Mr. Trump’s foreign businesses are often used there for functions as well as office space.
Article 1, Section 9 of the US Constitution says no holder of public office can “without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, emolument, office, or title, of any kind whatever, from any king, prince, or foreign state.”
Furthermore, Mr. Trump also has ways to earn money through his position within the country by taking advantage of media coverage fees. Mr. Trump consistently features his jetliner that features his name in every episode of his reality TV show The Apprentice.
In addition, the president also makes time to visit his hotel in Washington, D.C., as well as his golf courses and resort in Palm Beach Country. Every visit calls for the attention of the media, hence photos and videos that are taken within his businesses earn him profit as reported by The Huffington Post.
Following this behavior, an investigator with the Center for Responsive Politics, Robert Maguire expressed his disbelief. Mr. Maguire expressed that he is indeed “at a loss,” citing that the current president is using his position to enrich his private interests while he is still in office.
Apparently, it is acceptable to do so after you have finished your role as a government official, by writing a book about the experience or the like. However, Mcguire finds Mr. Trump’s actions to be an act of “milking the office for all it’s worth.”
Past Presidents have been careful not to have conflicts regarding their personal interests. Following this, they even went as far as to place their assets in the hands of others, hence putting their role as a leader above all else.
However, Mr. Trump doesn’t entirely agree with this idea. On Jan. 11 during a news conference, he mentioned that it was legally impossible not to have conflicts of interest as the president of the United States. According to Mr. Trump, it is possible to serve as both a president and a business man.
President Donald Trump’s stand in these matters definitely opposes that of Richard Painter, a former top ethics lawyer for George W. Bush’s White House. According to Mr. Painter, “He should not use his official position to promote his businesses. That doesn’t make him a good businessman. That makes him a bad president.”
[Featured Image By Evan Vucci/AP Images]