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Foreign governments paid Trump companies $7.8 million, House dems report

By Jake Beardslee · January 4, 2024

In brief…

  • Payments to Trump businesses from foreign states violated emoluments clause
  • China made the most payments, much from state-owned banks renting in Trump Tower
  • Trump Organization may have solicited Chinese deals despite ethics pledge
  • Report urges mandated disclosure of foreign payments to presidents' businesses
  • Trump remains favored for 2024 as GOP probes Biden's son Hunter
The report found Trump businesses took millions in potentially illegal payments from foreign governments while he was president, and urged mandated disclosure of such emoluments.  Michael Vadon/Wikimedia

According to a new report from Democrats on the House Oversight Committee, Donald Trump’s businesses received at least $7.8 million in payments from foreign governments during his presidency. The report argues these payments violated the Constitution’s emoluments clause, which prohibits federal officials from accepting money or gifts from foreign states without Congressional approval, according to The Washington Post.

The report identified payments to Trump properties in New York, Washington D.C., and Las Vegas from 20 foreign governments, including China, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar. China made the largest payments totaling $5.5 million, much of it from Chinese state-owned banks renting office space in Trump Tower. Despite allegations these banks had ties to North Korea, the Trump administration did not sanction them.

Documents suggest the Trump Organization may have continued soliciting business in China after Trump took office, contrary to his pledge to avoid new foreign deals. The report urges Congress to mandate disclosure of emoluments and foreign payments to presidents’ businesses.

James Comer released a statement saying the report was “beyond parody that Democrats continue their obsession with former President Trump,” and stated Trump has “legitimate businesses.” However, Democrats say no president has ever come so close to ignoring the emoluments clause.