The Emoluments Clause is also known as The Title of Nobility Clause.
The Emoluments Clause is in the constitution and is designed to keep members of the government on the straight and narrow by not allowing them to benefit or profit from their position of power and influence as a government official. You would think it common sense and not something that would have to be laid out in the constitution but such is not the case.
Common sense is not all that common when it comes to some public officials and thus it was actually common sense to add the emoluments clause into the constitution.
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.
There is an out though and that is if Congress approves an exception you can then be gifted by a foreign State, Kink or Prince but those exceptions are few ands far between in a practical sense.
So why all this talk in recent months about the Title of Nobility of Clause?
The issue, Ladies and Gentlemen, is that the incoming president has a footprint in so many different countries with his massive real estate holdings, that almost anything that the management of those holdings does that is positive will benefit the president personally. The entanglements are so intricate that even a blind trust could be an issue as much of his properties are significant and public entities.
A couple of examples would be his golf courses in Scotland and Ireland. There has been some controversy with a few aspects of each and should things fall Mr. Trump’s way it could look like there was favor granted based on his title as President. In Scotland there has been some talk about a windmill farm off shore and in view of his golf course, Trump International Scotland, and Mr. Trump has had meetings to try and sway those in power to not allow them due to the unsightly nature of a windmill farm. Should the windmill farm idea get waylaid would that be considered a violation of the Emoluments Clause because it benefits Mr. Trump?
Some say yes and others say no.
But ultimately it would benefit his enterprise and should the decision be made as part of a way to get Mr. Trump to look favorably on Scotland, it would be a serious issue. Trump is no stranger to legal suits brought against him but a violation of the Emoluments Clause is not a legal issue he wants to deal with at this point in his life.
And there are a myriad of situations exactly like that!
So, how in the world can he protect himself as well as the country as a whole from looking like he ran for office as a money grab?
The two ideas being floated about are divest himself of all his holdings. Good luck with getting that done as that, in and of itself, could cause the Emoluments Clause to come into play as well. Trump is selling project A for $1.00 and The King of Micromadmadia (fake country, Folks!) comes along and says, “I’ll buy it for $2.00, Mr. President!”. He will, in all probability, be violating The Title of Nobility Clause should he accept that offer as that could be construed as giving him more for something due to him being the President.
A blind trust would be the next idea that people are floating about and would probably be the best option as long as Mr. Trump was not the one who designates the one who manages the trust. It would have to be someone that is completely disinterested third party and one that has a generous amount of business knowledge as well. Finding that person would be some serious work as there is not a whole lot of time left before Mr. Trump turns into President Trump and many of those qualified would have at least knowledge of Mr. Trump or even know him personally.
There is someone out there, or a committee out there, that can handle that and it is not Eric and Donald Jr as we would need someone/a committee that is a 100% disinterested third party.
Let’s hope that a blind trust happens and happens quickly lest we have a President get impeached on the day of his inauguration.
The Emoluments Clause is no joke and Mr. Trump is going to have to walk very carefully to stay inside the ropes on this one.