Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 10-17-2019, 03:23 PM
Running with Scissors is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Small blue-green planet
Posts: 1,456

If that's not an emolument, I don't know what is


Trump has awarded G-7 summit to his Miami-area resort, the White House says

Geez, they're not even trying to pretend that they're doing the right thing any more.
__________________
"You can't really dust for vomit." -- Nigel Tufnel
  #2  
Old 10-17-2019, 06:48 PM
Max S. is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Florida, USA
Posts: 1,900
Quote:
Originally Posted by Running with Scissors View Post
Trump has awarded G-7 summit to his Miami-area resort, the White House says

Geez, they're not even trying to pretend that they're doing the right thing any more.
Yeah, Mr. Trump's decision seems unethical and unconstitutional.

The ways out of this are:
  • There actually aren't any other facilities in the entirety of the United States suitable for the G-7
  • He's just kidding
  • It turns out that Mr. Trump is gifting the resort to the federal government
  • The resort, subsidiaries, & parent organization(s) make exactly $0 in revenue from the gig, before expenses

ETA: But then again, once upon a time President George Washington was all like, "let's put the new capital in my backyard!" And critics said, "he just wants to raise his property value". And GW said, "no, it's a great place, trust me".

~Max

Last edited by Max S.; 10-17-2019 at 06:51 PM.
  #3  
Old 10-17-2019, 06:57 PM
Max S. is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Florida, USA
Posts: 1,900
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max S. View Post
But then again, once upon a time President George Washington was all like, "let's put the new capital in my backyard!" And critics said, "he just wants to raise his property value". And GW said, "no, it's a great place, trust me".

~Max
That was not a foreign emolument. Silly Max.

~Max
  #4  
Old 10-17-2019, 07:00 PM
Max S. is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Florida, USA
Posts: 1,900
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max S. View Post
That was not a foreign emolument. Silly Max.

~Max
Apologies for the triple post. But I am unsure if it would be a violation of the Foreign Emoluments clause if the federal government pays the resort, and the resort provides accommodations for G-7 at no charge to participants. Just thinking out loud here. Not sure if that's how this thing works.

~Max
  #5  
Old 10-17-2019, 07:09 PM
HurricaneDitka is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 15,006
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max S. View Post
That was not a foreign emolument. Silly Max.

~Max
Given that the summit location was apparently selected by President Trump / the US government, is this a foreign emolument?

For reference:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Article I, Section 9, Clause 8
No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, 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.
And, for that matter, given this:

(emphasis mine)

Is it even an emolument at all?

I think there are some ethical concerns at play, but I'm not sure it's an "emoluments clause" violation.

Last edited by HurricaneDitka; 10-17-2019 at 07:10 PM.
  #6  
Old 10-17-2019, 07:17 PM
snfaulkner's Avatar
snfaulkner is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: 123 Fake Street
Posts: 8,251
Quote:
Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka View Post
Given that the summit location was apparently selected by President Trump / the US government, is this a foreign emolument?

For reference:



And, for that matter, given this:



(emphasis mine)

Is it even an emolument at all?

I think there are some ethical concerns at play, but I'm not sure it's an "emoluments clause" violation.
Open the books and prove there was no profit. I'm sure he knows all about Hollywood accounting schemes.
__________________
It may be because I'm a drooling simpleton with the attention span of a demented gnat, but would you mind explaining everything in words of one syllable. 140 chars max.
  #7  
Old 10-17-2019, 07:17 PM
Max S. is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Florida, USA
Posts: 1,900
Quote:
Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka View Post
Given that the summit location was apparently selected by President Trump / the US government, is this a foreign emolument?
Right. The selection itself is not a foreign emolument, if it is even an emolument at all. The foreign emolument is triggered when a foreign state actually pays Mr. Trump's personal company for the privilege of attending an official state function.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka View Post
Is it even an emolument at all?
If they are really operating at a loss, it's debatable. But I don't place any weight on a for-profit company's claim that they accepted a government contract at a loss. I'm thinking about a Hollywood-style accounting "loss".

~Max
  #8  
Old 10-17-2019, 07:18 PM
Running with Scissors is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Small blue-green planet
Posts: 1,456
Quote:
Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka View Post
Given that the summit location was apparently selected by President Trump / the US government, is this a foreign emolument?
Hmm, I kind of assumed that the other G7 governments would be paying their way...thinking about it, maybe not, though.

But we'd have to take Trump at his word that the property wouldn't be making any money. And how good is his word?
__________________
"You can't really dust for vomit." -- Nigel Tufnel
  #9  
Old 10-17-2019, 07:27 PM
HurricaneDitka is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 15,006
Quote:
Originally Posted by snfaulkner View Post
Open the books and prove there was no profit. I'm sure he knows all about Hollywood accounting schemes.
The G7 summit in Doral isn't until next June.
  #10  
Old 10-17-2019, 07:31 PM
HurricaneDitka is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 15,006
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max S. View Post
... The foreign emolument is triggered when a foreign state actually pays Mr. Trump's personal company for the privilege of attending an official state function. ...
Is it the "attending an official state function" that's the relevant distinction for you?
  #11  
Old 10-17-2019, 07:38 PM
Ravenman is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 27,022
I readily admit my lack of expertise in this field, but “at cost” or “with no profit” doesn’t seem to me to be the definition of an emolument.

Let’s say a government employee goes to give a speech in Saudi Arabia and receives a payment of $5,000. This person claiming that the trip cost him $10,000 because he flew business class would make the payment not an emolument.
  #12  
Old 10-17-2019, 07:44 PM
snfaulkner's Avatar
snfaulkner is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: 123 Fake Street
Posts: 8,251
Quote:
Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka View Post
The G7 summit in Doral isn't until next June.
Yes, I meant "in the future, open the books"

Edit: to explicitly state the subtext, I don't believe Trump would willing open his books.
__________________
It may be because I'm a drooling simpleton with the attention span of a demented gnat, but would you mind explaining everything in words of one syllable. 140 chars max.

Last edited by snfaulkner; 10-17-2019 at 07:47 PM.
  #13  
Old 10-17-2019, 07:48 PM
pool is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Inside
Posts: 4,619
I bet Trump will be trying to sell fucking golf club memberships during the entire summit, Jesus Christ.
__________________
"You can do anything you set your mind to...But money helps"
  #14  
Old 10-17-2019, 07:49 PM
Left Hand of Dorkness's Avatar
Left Hand of Dorkness is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 1999
Location: at the right hand of cool
Posts: 41,680
Quote:
Originally Posted by snfaulkner View Post
Yes, I meant "in the future, open the books"
Uh, yeah, that was 100% clear. It's not clear why anyone would decide to read it in a fashion that makes it nonsensical.

My question: is there a chance greater than 0% that foreign leaders will decline to come to Trump's resort for the conference? I think if I were a foreign leader, I'd be livid at the flagrant violation of international norms, norms heretofore unspoken, that world leaders don't try to personally profit off you when you visit their country.
  #15  
Old 10-17-2019, 07:54 PM
Walken After Midnight is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 5,297
Judge Napolitano on FOX: "[Trump] has bought himself an enormous headache now with the choice of this. This is as about as direct and profound a violation of the emoluments clause as one could create."
  #16  
Old 10-17-2019, 08:39 PM
Monty's Avatar
Monty is offline
Straight Dope Science Advisory Board
 
Join Date: Feb 1999
Location: Beijing, China
Posts: 23,624
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max S. View Post
Right. The selection itself is not a foreign emolument, if it is even an emolument at all. The foreign emolument is triggered when a foreign state actually pays Mr. Trump's personal company for the privilege of attending an official state function.


If they are really operating at a loss, it's debatable. But I don't place any weight on a for-profit company's claim that they accepted a government contract at a loss. I'm thinking about a Hollywood-style accounting "loss".

~Max

Educate me, please. Does it matter if the recipient of the emolument is operating at a loss? I didn't happen to see that in the constitution, so, at the moment, my uneducated best guess is the answer is "Not at all". Just because you're a bad businessman doesn't mean you get to violate the constitution.
  #17  
Old 10-17-2019, 08:47 PM
HMS Irruncible is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 8,645
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max S. View Post
If they are really operating at a loss, it's debatable.
I don't think it is debatable. The emoluments clause doesn't say anything whatsoever about profitability. And arguably, setting aside the monetary compensation, there is some intangible value to the property that comes from the prestige of hosting the G7 convention.

That's not to say this is a smoking-gun emoluments violation. But profitability doesn't figure into it at all.
  #18  
Old 10-17-2019, 08:54 PM
Sunny Daze's Avatar
Sunny Daze is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Bay Area Urban Sprawl
Posts: 13,005
Quote:
Originally Posted by Walken After Midnight View Post
Judge Napolitano on FOX: "[Trump] has bought himself an enormous headache now with the choice of this. This is as about as direct and profound a violation of the emoluments clause as one could create."
Thank you for sharing this.
  #19  
Old 10-17-2019, 11:03 PM
Max S. is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Florida, USA
Posts: 1,900
Quote:
Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka View Post
Is it the "attending an official state function" that's the relevant distinction for you?
Good catch, you can cut that out. "The foreign emolument is triggered when a foreign state actually pays Mr. Trump's personal company[.]"

~Max
  #20  
Old 10-17-2019, 11:08 PM
Max S. is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Florida, USA
Posts: 1,900
Quote:
Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka View Post
Given that the summit location was apparently selected by President Trump / the US government, is this a foreign emolument?
There's a domestic emoluments clause, too. U.S. Const. art. II, sect. 1, cl. 7:
The President shall, at stated Times, receive for his Services, a Compensation, which shall neither be increased nor diminished during the Period for which he shall have been elected, and he shall not receive within that Period any other Emolument from the United States, or any of them.
~Max
  #21  
Old 10-17-2019, 11:13 PM
Max S. is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Florida, USA
Posts: 1,900
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max S. View Post
Apologies for the triple post. But I am unsure if it would be a violation of the Foreign Emoluments clause if the federal government pays the resort, and the resort provides accommodations for G-7 at no charge to participants. Just thinking out loud here. Not sure if that's how this thing works.
But if the government pays the resort, and the resort is Mr. Trump's company, that would violate the domestic emoluments clause. So this is not a constitutional option.

~Max
  #22  
Old 10-17-2019, 11:40 PM
Max S. is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Florida, USA
Posts: 1,900
Quote:
Originally Posted by Monty View Post
Educate me, please. Does it matter if the recipient of the emolument is operating at a loss? I didn't happen to see that in the constitution, so, at the moment, my uneducated best guess is the answer is "Not at all". Just because you're a bad businessman doesn't mean you get to violate the constitution.
The debate would be over the definition of emolument as used in the Constitution. Can one receive an emolument while not gaining an advantage or benefit?

The going definition of "Emolument" is "any profit, gain, or advantage". The president's lawyers had attempted (and failed) to construe "Emolument" as "the receipt of compensation for services rendered by an official in an official capacity or in an employment (or equivalent) relationship with a foreign government, and to the receipt of honor and gifts by an office-holder from a foreign government". See Blumenthal v. Trump, 373 F. Supp. 3d 191, 196 (D.D.C. 2019).

A loss fits neither definition, so there's that.

I recommend reading the case, you can see the President duking it out with Congressional Democrats over the definition and scope of the emoluments clause. The President lost, but is appealing.

~Max
  #23  
Old 10-18-2019, 12:08 AM
simster is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 11,355
Advertising that the club was host to the G7 is, in and of itself, some tangible value - it raises its perceived value to other activities that require that kind of capabilities. Trump didn't choose it out of the goodness of his heart - he's not inviting the cousin's to stay the weekend at his place.
  #24  
Old 10-18-2019, 12:23 AM
Max S. is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Florida, USA
Posts: 1,900
Quote:
Originally Posted by simster View Post
Advertising that the club was host to the G7 is, in and of itself, some tangible value - it raises its perceived value to other activities that require that kind of capabilities. Trump didn't choose it out of the goodness of his heart - he's not inviting the cousin's to stay the weekend at his place.
I'll disagree that the value you describe is tangible, but I admit that there is some intangible value in the prestige of hosting world leaders. That's basically what HMS Irruncible was saying, but I'm not super convinced that it's worth getting worked up about.

Basically the President can go out after the Summit and say, stay in my resort! Sleep in the bed where Angela Merkel once slept! No offense to the Chancellor but I don't think that will help with marketing.

~Max
  #25  
Old 10-18-2019, 12:25 AM
snfaulkner's Avatar
snfaulkner is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: 123 Fake Street
Posts: 8,251
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max S. View Post
The debate would be over the definition of emolument as used in the Constitution. Can one receive an emolument while not gaining an advantage or benefit?

The going definition of "Emolument" is "any profit, gain, or advantage". The president's lawyers had attempted (and failed) to construe "Emolument" as "the receipt of compensation for services rendered by an official in an official capacity or in an employment (or equivalent) relationship with a foreign government, and to the receipt of honor and gifts by an office-holder from a foreign government". See Blumenthal v. Trump, 373 F. Supp. 3d 191, 196 (D.D.C. 2019).

A loss fits neither definition, so there's that.

I recommend reading the case, you can see the President duking it out with Congressional Democrats over the definition and scope of the emoluments clause. The President lost, but is appealing.

~Max
Let's say it costs you 10 large to do whatever. If I give you 5g's, your still at a loss of 5 g's, but you are still at an advantage over if I gave you nothing.
__________________
It may be because I'm a drooling simpleton with the attention span of a demented gnat, but would you mind explaining everything in words of one syllable. 140 chars max.
  #26  
Old 10-18-2019, 12:45 AM
Max S. is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Florida, USA
Posts: 1,900
Quote:
Originally Posted by snfaulkner View Post
Let's say it costs you 10 large to do whatever. If I give you 5g's, your still at a loss of 5 g's, but you are still at an advantage over if I gave you nothing.
Whether you take the whole transaction or just the one side into account seems rather arbitrary to me. But 92.5% of historical definitions of "emolument" use the word "profit", according to John Mikhail of Georgetown University. The implication is that both sides of the transaction are involved (Figure 1, page 33).

https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers....act_id=2995693

~Max

Last edited by Max S.; 10-18-2019 at 12:47 AM. Reason: page & figure
  #27  
Old 10-18-2019, 12:54 AM
Bryan Ekers's Avatar
Bryan Ekers is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Montreal, QC
Posts: 59,370
So if any of the delegates pay for any goods or services of any kind at the hotel during the summit, would that be an emolument?

Perhaps Trump's income isn't considered as worthy of close monitoring as something really important like an NCAA basketball player who might be given a McDonald's coupon.
__________________
Don't worry about the end of Inception. We have top men working on it right now. Top. Men.
  #28  
Old 10-18-2019, 01:26 AM
RioRico is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: beyond cell service
Posts: 436
US Constitution doesn't mention profitable emoluments here.

I.9.8: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under [the United States], shall, 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. No foreign governmental present OF ANY KIND without approval by Congress, including political dirt. But does that include supposedly civilian bribes?

II.1.7: The President shall [be paid] during the Period for which he shall have been elected, and he shall not receive within that Period any other Emolument from the United States, or any of them. No payment from federal or state governments, period. But cities aren't feds nor states. Can Las Vegas legally bribe him? Can a VEEP take federal, state, and civic bribes?

Those clauses clearly say no federal officer or employee can take foreign gifts and the President can't take anything beyond his paycheck from any government body. This POTUS has clearly violated the Constitution he swore to uphold and so has disqualified himself from office. It's perp-walk time.
  #29  
Old 10-18-2019, 01:33 AM
Kobal2's Avatar
Kobal2 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Paris, France
Posts: 18,977
Quote:
Originally Posted by RioRico View Post
This POTUS has clearly violated the Constitution he swore to uphold
In his defense, he never read it.
  #30  
Old 10-18-2019, 02:38 AM
DoctorJ is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Eastern Kentucky
Posts: 6,521
What does "at cost" really mean for a hotel anyway? Certainly there's a number that they can't routinely price their hotel rooms below without losing money, but that's an easily manipulated figure. And when the hotel is operating at a significant loss to begin with, a week of having the rooms filled "at cost" represents a gain.
  #31  
Old 10-18-2019, 06:15 AM
HMS Irruncible is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 8,645
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max S. View Post
Whether you take the whole transaction or just the one side into account seems rather arbitrary to me. But 92.5% of historical definitions of "emolument" use the word "profit", according to John Mikhail of Georgetown University. The implication is that both sides of the transaction are involved (Figure 1, page 33).
But -
  • these definitions are clearly not limited to profitability in the narrow sense of a business transaction.
  • the defintions mention emoluments other than profit
  • this is all moot because there is literally zero chance of Trump opening his financial books for inspection
  • in the distant chance he does open his books, it's likely he's maintaining a fraudulent shadow copy as was revealed in Trump org just a couple of days ago.

So let's please to put the whole profit margin thing to bed; it's a losing argument.
  #32  
Old 10-18-2019, 07:39 AM
Ruken is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: DC
Posts: 7,659
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max S. View Post
  • It turns out that Mr. Trump is gifting the resort to the federal government
  • The resort, subsidiaries, & parent organization(s) make exactly $0 in revenue from the gig, before expenses
I recall an event planner for a federal agency being adamant they be charged "fair market value" and not receive any special pricing or discounts that anyone else wouldn't normally get.
  #33  
Old 10-18-2019, 07:59 AM
bobot's Avatar
bobot is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Chicago-ish
Posts: 9,426
As though Trump's previous actions haven't ALSO called for a good, thorough federal accounting of his books, this certainly pushes it into obviousland. What a shyster. How this can even be allowed is beyond me. Why other politicians didn't immediately put the brakes on it, again, beyond me.
  #34  
Old 10-18-2019, 08:15 AM
nate is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 931
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobot View Post
As though Trump's previous actions haven't ALSO called for a good, thorough federal accounting of his books, this certainly pushes it into obviousland. What a shyster. How this can even be allowed is beyond me. Why other politicians didn't immediately put the brakes on it, again, beyond me.
I think you could have posted this in every single Trump-related thread and it would be accurate. It's crazy how we've normalized his behavior that something like this will be forgotten within a couple of days because he'll do some other crazy thing. And when the next G7 actually rolls around, it'll be old news and there will be some other outrageous thing going on and no one will really care about him hosting it at his own resort.
  #35  
Old 10-18-2019, 09:28 AM
QuickSilver is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Posts: 19,405
I'll tell you what this is. This is Trump trolling everybody to distract from all the other crimes he's committed and tried to cover up. He's given up all pretense of winning 2020 on actual accomplishments and is trying to overwhelm the system with audacity. What's more, he's far from finished. And just maybe, by some miracle, there will be a large enough MAGAcult turnout in 2020 to put him over the top again. It's not a good plan. Hell, it's not a plan at all. What it is, is a huge "FUCK YOU!. It's all he's got left, and he's going to go out in a blaze glory as the biggest, most outrageous dumpster fire in American politics. See if he doesn't.
__________________
St. QuickSilver: Patron Saint of Thermometers.
  #36  
Old 10-18-2019, 09:38 AM
Sinaptics is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 999
So, who do you think they're going to send in at the end of Trump's presidency to tell him that he's not allowed to keep the gifts people gave him while president?
  #37  
Old 10-18-2019, 09:46 AM
QuickSilver is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Posts: 19,405
Federal and State law enforcement, if any rule of law remains in this republic.
__________________
St. QuickSilver: Patron Saint of Thermometers.

Last edited by QuickSilver; 10-18-2019 at 09:47 AM.
  #38  
Old 10-18-2019, 09:49 AM
Dewey Finn is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 29,162
Whether this violates the Emolument Clause is, I think, irrelevant. It's huge conflict of interest and violates any sort of ethical standards.
  #39  
Old 10-18-2019, 10:04 AM
KidCharlemagne is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 5,374
Quote:
Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka View Post
Given that the summit location was apparently selected by President Trump / the US government, is this a foreign emolument?

For reference:



And, for that matter, given this:



(emphasis mine)

Is it even an emolument at all?

I think there are some ethical concerns at play, but I'm not sure it's an "emoluments clause" violation.
Even if he doesn't directly profit from the booking (which I seriously doubt), he's receiving international marketing worth millions.
  #40  
Old 10-18-2019, 10:15 AM
KarlGauss's Avatar
KarlGauss is offline
Entangled
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Between pole and tropic
Posts: 8,524
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dewey Finn View Post
It's huge conflict of interest and violates any sort of ethical standards.
This could have been said on a hundred different occasions in the last three years.

Trump has normalized the abnormal.

One of the less malignant legacies of Donald Trump will be the coining of a new verb: to trump; the normalizing of destructive, bizarre behaviour and naked, unapologetic hypocrisy, the former used to pre-emptively defuse criticism of the latter.
  #41  
Old 10-18-2019, 01:10 PM
Ann Hedonia's Avatar
Ann Hedonia is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 3,496
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dewey Finn View Post
Whether this violates the Emolument Clause is, I think, irrelevant. It's huge conflict of interest and violates any sort of ethical standards.
And it probably breaks a bunch of other laws, too. I’ve done business with the government. For purchases over a certain dollar amount they are legally required to obtain and evaluate multiple proposals and select the one that provides the best value for the taxpayer.

It sounds like they might be claiming an exception to the bid process on the grounds that the Trump Doral is the only suitable property. But that wouldn’t stand up to even the most cursory examination - as I believe other US properties have hosted the G7 and/or similar events in the past. These exceptions to the bidding rules were really designed for obscure and highly specialized technical processes, not hotel services.


Of course, by making it about emoluments, the Democrats have turned a clear cut issue into a debatable one. I really want to see some pushback from the other hotel companies that were denied their shot at winning the bid,
  #42  
Old 10-18-2019, 01:41 PM
Johnny Bravo's Avatar
Johnny Bravo is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: The Swamp
Posts: 7,820
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ann Hedonia View Post
It sounds like they might be claiming an exception to the bid process on the grounds that the Trump Doral is the only suitable property. But that wouldn’t stand up to even the most cursory examination - as I believe other US properties have hosted the G7 and/or similar events in the past. These exceptions to the bidding rules were really designed for obscure and highly specialized technical processes, not hotel services.
It's been held many times in the US - the last time was at Camp David.

I have trouble believing that Camp David has somehow become unsuitable in the last seven years.

Last edited by Johnny Bravo; 10-18-2019 at 01:42 PM.
  #43  
Old 10-18-2019, 01:44 PM
Max S. is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Florida, USA
Posts: 1,900
Quote:
Originally Posted by HMS Irruncible View Post
But -
  • these definitions are clearly not limited to profitability in the narrow sense of a business transaction.
My original assertion was that it is debatable whether a loss can be an emolument, and I still stand by that assertion.

Say Mr. President owns a restaurant and invites the Queen of England over to talk about official business over lunch. The President has no manners and mentions beforehand that he will not pay for the meal. The Queen does have manners and decides to buy lunch so HRH and Mr. President may both eat during their meeting, as opposed to the President eating while HRH sits without food. She could eat before or after the meeting at some other place, but feels that to do so would be disrespectful as Mr. President has chosen his own restaurant as the venue.

The Queen eats and pays the restaurant $35. The President indirectly makes a $12 profit from the Queen's lunch. Is it an emolument? Definitely.

Now what if the President said to the Queen, I can't let you eat on the house but I'll give you a $12 discount. The Queen still recognizes the lack of American hospitality but eats nonetheless, paying the restaurant $23. The President makes a $0 profit. Is it an emolument when the Queen paid the restaurant?

I don't think there's a clear answer here. As I said before, whether to consider a transaction as a whole or just the individual transfer of money seems arbitrary to me. Let me know why you disagree.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HMS Irruncible View Post
  • the defintions mention emoluments other than profit
With regard to the above hypothetical, what other kind of emolument do you have in mind? The distinction of having served the Queen of England? It isn't the Queen's decision to pay or attend or not that gives the restaurant that benefit, her conduct follows from the rules of diplomacy. It is the President's decision to have a meeting at his own restaurant that provides the advantage. That would fall under an entirely different clause, the domestic emoluments clause, and I agree that it is a violation there. The President is essentially using his office to refer customers to his own businesses, which gives him an advantage over other businesses. But I don't think it's a foreign emolument because it is the President that provides the advantage.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HMS Irruncible View Post
  • this is all moot because there is literally zero chance of Trump opening his financial books for inspection
There is practically zero chance of Trump opening his books up for inspection. But I still see utility in refining our understanding of the Constitution. So, not moot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HMS Irruncible View Post
Yup, probably.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HMS Irruncible View Post
So let's please to put the whole profit margin thing to bed; it's a losing argument.
I didn't enter this thread to "win" or defend Donald Trump. Could you imagine? How would I sleep at night?

No, I entered to debate the meaning and application of the emoluments clause(s).

~Max
  #44  
Old 10-18-2019, 01:45 PM
bobot's Avatar
bobot is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Chicago-ish
Posts: 9,426
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Bravo View Post
It's been held many times in the US - the last time was at Camp David.

I have trouble believing that Camp David has somehow become unsuitable in the last seven years.
Oh yeah, the Secret Service is unfamiliar with the place, that's the ticket. And also, it doesn't help prop up a failing Trump property. I hear revenues at the selected place are down 70% since about Nov. 2016.

Last edited by bobot; 10-18-2019 at 01:45 PM.
  #45  
Old 10-18-2019, 01:52 PM
Max S. is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Florida, USA
Posts: 1,900
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruken View Post
I recall an event planner for a federal agency being adamant they be charged "fair market value" and not receive any special pricing or discounts that anyone else wouldn't normally get.
You mean like, an agency sends Bob out to plan an event and Bob tells the contractor not to give him any discounts?

I don't know if that's applicable because in a sense, Mr. Trump is both the agency and the contractor; further, I think it's foreign delegates that will do the paying, not the federal government.

~Max
  #46  
Old 10-18-2019, 01:56 PM
Max S. is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Florida, USA
Posts: 1,900
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sinaptics View Post
So, who do you think they're going to send in at the end of Trump's presidency to tell him that he's not allowed to keep the gifts people gave him while president?
I imagine the next President saying, oh those are mine now.

~Max
  #47  
Old 10-18-2019, 03:30 PM
Ruken is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: DC
Posts: 7,659
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max S. View Post
You mean like, an agency sends Bob out to plan an event and Bob tells the contractor not to give him any discounts?

I don't know if that's applicable because in a sense, Mr. Trump is both the agency and the contractor; further, I think it's foreign delegates that will do the paying, not the federal government.
It was a funding agency. A funding recipient had an event space and offered to host a meeting. There were rules that I didn't listen to. So maybe this is a completely different situation.
  #48  
Old 10-18-2019, 04:02 PM
Dinsdale is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2000
Posts: 18,902
Remember the folk who said they had had enough with career politicians, and that they wanted a "businessperson" as president? Here ya go!

And for the folk who try to compare their personal government expenditures with what happens at this level, I've long ago just accepted that there are entirely different sets of rules. For example, I read this a.m. about a $1000 bar tab for gov't staff at (IIRC) Mar-a-lago (sp?). Yeah - try expensing booze on YOUR gov't credit card.

I agree with those who say discussing emoluments unnecessarily confuses things. Instead, just beat the drum that this is yet another instance of Trump running his office for personal advantage and financial gain. Hopefully, enough voters will find that troublesome... (HOPEfully!)
__________________
I used to be disgusted.
Now I try to be amused.
  #49  
Old 10-18-2019, 04:16 PM
Omar Little's Avatar
Omar Little is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Within
Posts: 13,234
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max S. View Post
Basically the President can go out after the Summit and say, stay in my resort! Sleep in the bed where Angela Merkel once slept! No offense to the Chancellor but I don't think that will help with marketing.
One time, I stayed in the same suite right after Michael Jordan and his wife checked out. It didn't enhance the experience for me.
  #50  
Old 10-18-2019, 04:25 PM
Czarcasm's Avatar
Czarcasm is online now
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 62,962
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max S. View Post
I imagine the next President saying, oh those are mine now.

~Max
I imagine anything of value will be quietly shipped out before he leaves office without fear of having to provide a list of what was taken to those who couldn't even manage to get his tax records. "You want a list of what I took? I would love to hand it over...just as soon as my person auditors are done with it."
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:10 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright © 2019 STM Reader, LLC.

 
Copyright © 2017