The New Yorker: A Lawsuit Attacks the Marketing of the Presidency


While emoluments have come up on the Presidential level before—as when President Obama asked if he could accept the Nobel Peace Prize, which Justice Department lawyers concluded he could because the Norwegian government did not have a “meaningful” role in funding it—the clause has never been tested as it has been during the Trump era. The Constitution does offer a potential path to propriety if a foreign or domestic gift presents itself: if a President wants to accept an emolument, he or she is supposed to seek permission from Congress. “What is so unusual here is a President who has basically ignored the issue,” Lawrence Noble, the general counsel of the Campaign Legal Center and a former general counsel of the Federal Election Commission, said. “The lawsuits are arising, I believe, because Congress is not forcing the issue.” He added, “Maryland and D.C. have a very strong case.”

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