President Donald Trump is already facing an onslaught of negative press, as the media continues to report on the Ukraine call and impeachment proceedings. However, a bad week may just have gotten worse, as Politico is reporting that House investigators are looking into a Trump hotel mystery that might lead to accusations of bribery.
According to the newspaper, many Trump property hotels have benefited from a large number of reservations. However, it is not unusual for guests never to check in. Because of this, the House Oversight Committee is looking into the possibility that several special interest groups, and even foreign governments, are attempting to curry favor with the president by booking rooms in his hotel -- even if they are never going to be used.
Should the groups who booked rooms be shown to have received preferential treatment by Trump, it could mean charges of bribery for the Art of the Deal author.
It also brings up issues related to the issue of emoluments. The emoluments clause of the Constitution makes it illegal for a president to gain profit from foreign governments. It also states that the only money that can be received from the U.S. government is the annual salary, which could create issues if government agencies were involved in the scheme.
"Now we're looking at near raw bribery," said Rep. Gerry Connolly, a Democrat from Virginia who is not only a House Oversight Committee member, but who also chairs the subcommittee that has jurisdiction over Trump's Washington hotel.
"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," Connolly added.
Democratic Representative Ro Khanna, from California, is also a member of the House Oversight Committee. He said that even if no laws were broken, it still should have been an issue for the American people as it reinforced big money in Washington.
"If true, at minimum, this suggests there is a culture of corruption that the administration has created," Khanna claimed.
"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."The mystery of the empty hotel rooms comes on the heels of public outcry after Vice President Mike Pence stayed at a Trump hotel in Ireland. In addition, President also voiced a desire to host a G-7 summit at one of his Florida hotels. The Oversight and Judiciary released letters shortly after the two events that demanded details about both topics.
Perhaps not coincidentally, support for impeachment has grown in recent weeks, as reported by The Inquisitr.