Trouble at the intersection of Donald Trump, his business interests, & the Emoluments Clause?

Last Friday, the Brookings Institute released a very well-reasoned, 23-page paper that serves as a rather insightful interpretation of the Emoluments Clause found in the U.S. Constitution.

New York Magazine’s Daily Intelligencer reports that, “The Emoluments Clause, until recently not much discussed because its constraints have been taken for granted, constitutes a clear barrier to the intermingling of business and governmental interests that Donald J. Trump proposes to build into his conduct of the Presidency. That is a conclusion without partisan or ideological inflection; it would apply with equal force to any person or party occupying this position of public trust.”

In their paper, the Brookings authors argue that a common-sense reading of the Constitution and associated legal theory and history all lead to the conclusion that Trump is, in fact, subject to the Emoluments Clause, and could therefore be walking into an unusual sort of constitutional danger zone.

The paper was written by a bipartisan trio of legal experts who have been active in this discussion: Norman L. Eisen, a Brookings fellow, the chair of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics, and a former chief White House ethics lawyer under Obama; Richard Painter, a vice-chair at CREW and former chief White House lawyer under George W. Bush; and Laurence Tribe, a constitutional-law professor at Harvard. You can download a copy of the document as a pdf from the link below. It’s interesting reading.


By Stephen Brockelman

As a Sr. Writer at T. Rowe Price, I work with a group of the best copywriters around. We belong to the broader creative team within Enterprise Creative, a part of Corporate Marketing Services. _____________________________________________ A long and winding road: My path to T. Rowe Price was more twisted than Fidelity’s green line. With scholarship in hand, I left Kansas at 18 to study theatre in New York. When my soap opera paychecks stopped coming from CBS and started coming from the show’s sponsor, Proctor & Gamble, I discovered the power of advertising and switched careers. Over the years I’ve owned an ad agency in San Francisco; worked for Norman Lear on All in the Family, Good Times, Sanford and Son, and the rest of his hit shows; and as a member of Directors Guild of America, I directed Desi Arnaz in his last television appearance— we remained friends until his death. In 1988 I began freelancing full time didn’t look back. In January 2012 my rep at Boss Group called and said, “I know you don’t want to commute and writing for the financial industry isn’t high on your wish list, but I have a gig with T. Rowe Price in Owings Mills…” I was a contractor for eight months, drank the corporate Kool-Aid, became a TRP associate that August, and today I find myself smiling more often than not.

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