Report: President Trump’s companies received $7.8 million in foreign payments

According to information available to committee investigators, China made the largest total payments ($5.5 million) to Trump’s private companies.

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During Donald Trump’s presidency, his companies received at least $7.8 million in payments from foreign governments and officials in 20 countries, including China, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, according to a report released by the Democrats’ Oversight Committee. Camera.

The report maintains that the payments violated the Foreign Emoluments Clause of the Constitution, a provision that prohibits federal officials, including the president, from accepting money or gifts from foreign governments without the permission of Congress. That provision was central to a protracted legal debate when Democrats controlled the House and sought access to Trump’s financial records. The issue eventually reached the Supreme Court, but there was no definitive ruling on whether Trump illegally benefited from his presidency. Instead, in 2021 the justices said the cases were moot because Trump was no longer in office.

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Three years later, Trump could win a second term as president. He is the favorite for the Republican presidential nomination and is primed for a possible rematch against President Biden. Many recent polls show Biden trailing Trump in support nationally and in key battleground states.

When Republicans took control of the House in 2023, House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.) ended the congressional investigation into alleged violations of the emoluments clause by Trump. He also refused to enforce a court-ordered agreement for Mazars USA, Trump’s former accounting firm, to present evidence related to Trump’s financial dealings.

Prior to Comer’s presidency, Mazars had begun production of documents and had turned over a subset of documents to Democrats on the Oversight Committee, led by ranking Democrat Jamie Raskin (Md.). That tranche of documents showed payments from foreign governments to three Trump properties in New York, D.C. and Las Vegas. Committee investigators also identified, from public records, significant spending at a fourth Trump property, Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue in New York.

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“These payments were made while these governments promoted specific foreign policy objectives with the Trump Administration and even, at times, with President Trump himself, and while they requested specific actions from the United States to promote their own domestic policy objectives,” according to the 155-page report released Thursday.

Comer said in a statement Thursday that it was “beyond travesty for Democrats to continue their obsession with former President Trump” and that Trump has “legitimate business dealings.”

According to information available to committee investigators, China made the largest total payments ($5.5 million) to Trump’s private companies. The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), one of China’s largest state-owned banks, was among Trump Tower’s largest office tenants during Trump’s presidency. The report notes that during Trump’s first year in the White House, several Chinese banks – including ICBC – came under scrutiny for their financial ties to North Korea, leading the administration to consider sanctions against them.

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Despite calls from members of his own party to implement maximum pressure against these banks to stop the North Korean nuclear program, “then-President Trump and his Administration took no formal action against the tenant of Trump Tower, ICBC,” concludes the report.

The documents submitted to the committee also suggest that despite Trump’s promise to refrain from making new business deals with foreign entities while in office, the Trump Organization and the Trump International Hotel in D.C. may have “continued to solicit business in China after “after Mr. Trump took office.” “

“In June 2017, Patricia Tang, director of sales and marketing at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC, billed the hotel $1,950 as a reimbursable business expense for a ‘hotel in China,’” investigators wrote. Tang appeared to return later that year, according to additional expense reports obtained by the committee in connection with a reimbursement for “business cards printed by [redacted] for Patricia during her trip to China in November 2017,” the same month Trump made an official visit to the country.

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Saudi Arabia made the second-largest amount of payments to Trump companies while he was in office, and investigators identified at least $615,422 spent at two Trump properties. Qatar spent $465,744 on a Trump property and Kuwait spent $303,372, according to the report.

The report, which maintains that no president “has ever come as close to blatantly ignoring the Foreign Emoluments Clause” as Trump, recommends that Congress consider taking steps to prevent such violations in the future.

Among the actions the report urges Congress to consider are a requirement that senior executive officials disclose to Congress the receipt of any foreign emoluments and an “explicit procedure for presidents and senior officials to request the required congressional authorization to receive and retain emoluments.” The report also recommends that Congress implement a process to disclose payments to entities in which a sitting president has a financial interest by foreign officials and lobbyists acting on behalf of foreign governments.

While Comer hampered the congressional investigation into Trump, he has aggressively pursued an investigation into Biden’s alleged involvement in his son’s overseas business dealings. So far, Republicans have not released any direct evidence that Biden benefited from her son’s financial involvement in Ukraine or elsewhere. But the investigation has become the basis of an impeachment inquiry into Biden, which Republican lawmakers formally authorized last month.

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