The emoluments clause, also called the foreign emoluments clause, is a provision of the U.S. Constitution (Article I, Section 9, Paragraph 8) that generally prohibits federal officeholders from receiving any gift, payment, or other thing of value from a foreign state or its rulers, officers, or representatives. The clause provides that: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.
The Constitution also contains a “domestic emoluments clause” (Article II, Section 1, Paragraph 6), which prohibits the president from receiving any “Emolument” from the federal government or the states beyond “a Compensation” for his “Services” as chief executive.
The plain purpose of the foreign emoluments clause was to ensure that the country’s leaders would not be improperly influenced, even unconsciously, through gift giving, then a common and generally corrupt practice among European rulers and diplomats. An early version of the clause, modeled on a rule adopted by the Dutch Republic in 1651 that forbade its foreign ministers from receiving “any presents, directly or indirectly, in any manner or way whatever,” was incorporated into the Articles of Confederation (1781) as Article VI, Paragraph I: Nor shall any person holding any office of profit or trust under the United States, or any of them, accept any present, emolument, office or title of any kind whatever from any King, Prince or foreign State; nor shall the United States in Congress assembled, or any of them, grant any title of nobility.
All but the prohibition of titles of nobility was dropped from the initial draft of the Constitution but eventually restored at the request of Charles Pinckney, who argued at the Constitutional Convention for “the necessity of preserving foreign Ministers & other officers of the U.S. independent of foreign influence.” The final text of the clause included a provision that permitted acceptance of foreign gifts with the explicit approval of Congress, perhaps reflecting the awkward experience of Benjamin Franklin, who as American minister to France had been presented with a bejeweled snuff box by Louis XVI and, not wishing to offend the king, asked Congress for permission to keep it (permission was granted).
Although there has been some debate regarding the exact meaning and scope of the foreign emoluments clause, nearly all scholars agree that it applies broadly to all federal officeholders, appointed or elected, up to and including the president. That interpretation is supported by the historical record, such as it is, of the Constitution’s drafting as well as by the past practice of presidential administrations and Congresses. Thus Edmund Jennings Randolph, one of the Framers, remarked at the Virginia ratifying convention that the clause protected against the danger of “the President receiving Emoluments from foreign powers,” even asserting that a president who violates the clause “may be impeached.” There was no recorded dissent from Randolph’s view. From at least the early 19th century, presidents who were offered gifts by foreign states routinely requested Congress’s permission to accept them, and foreign rulers were politely informed (sometimes by the president himself) of the constitutional restriction regarding gifts. (The sole exception seems to have been George Washington, who accepted a print from the French ambassador without consulting Congress.)
The foreign emoluments clause also broadly encompasses any kind of profit, benefit, advantage, or service, not merely gifts of money or valuable objects. Thus, it would prohibit a federal officeholder from receiving special consideration in business transactions with a foreign state (or with a corporation owned or managed by a foreign state) that gave the officeholder a competitive advantage over other businesses. Arguably, as the legal scholar Laurence Tribe and others have suggested, the clause would forbid even competitively fair transactions with foreign states, because the profit accruing to the officeholder would fall within the ordinary meaning of “emolument,” and because such arrangements would threaten exactly the kind of improper influence that the clause was intended to prevent.
Brett sent me down in a last ditch effort to get Democratic Senators to take some kind of legal action to stop the proceedings for the Supreme Court Nomination., after weeks of run arounds, and un returned emails. We talked to Menendez, Booker, Feinstein, Tina Smith(took over Franken’s seat, ), Gillebrand and emailed Merkely, Hirono, Klobouchar, and Leahy. Nada in return.
We also reviewed Senator Merkley’s case against Trump, which was filed the day the original vote was to be scheduled. It was filed without any motion to expedite or TRO- we shot an email to the lead attorney- who shot back an email with the TRO, just filed, literally 48 hours before the vote was scheduled. It was very well written, but there was no time for a hearing, let alone time to appeal rulings from the district, which of course happen nearly instantaneously for Senators.
*releasing documents at the last second
*limiting FBI investigations
*felony perjury and obstructing Congressional investigations
There was plenty of material to get injunctions on the process; but frankly, Congress does not seem to want to take extra steps or listen when others urge other steps.
On December 8th, 2010, at the Heritage foundation, then Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said his #1 priority was to make President Obama a one term president. An admission of intent to use his powers as Senate Minority leader to obstruct the works of the United States Government.
True to at least these words, since he has been Senate Majority leader, he has helped to set the records for lowest productivity Congresses, most filibusters, usurped the powers of the Presidency to appoint the Judiciary, obstruction of government activities purely for political gain, a form of bribery, engaged in theft of honest government services,conspiracy to defraud the United States,and may have taken actual monetary bribes for his devotion to illegal action, or perhaps inaction is more accurate. His role as full on Obstructionist is the greatest in living memory and probably of all time- only Newt Gingrich may deserve more credit, and as we see later, the Newt Congresses were the only rivals for futility of Congress- hardly the most functional of bodies before these two infamous individuals.
The only point of principle, worthy of mention, is he doesn’t take the Congressional Obamacare fee waiver.
McConnell’s average wealth of $22.8 million puts him well above the Senate average. Oddly, however, before 2008 McConnell was well below the Senate average. In 2004, his average net worth was $3.1 million, compared to a Senate average of $14.5 million.
That’s almost a seven fold increase in 10 years. McConnell has quadrupled his net worth since 2007, when it was $7.8 million.
So what happened in 2008? His financial disclosure form tells the story—suddenly there appeared a tax-exempt money market fund, valued at between $5 million and $25 million, listed as a “gift from a filer’s relative.” (Look at Line 2 and then Line 3.)
What is happening here- 50 sounds like too many filibusters. 307 is civil war without the pistols. The asterisk shows that 307 does not include Obama’s final 3 years in office, meaning it is not a full picture- though the Democrats lost the Senate in year 4.
68 individual nominees blocked in the history of the Senate
79 individual court nominees blocked under Obama
According to Politifact 68 individual nominees blocked prior to Obama taking office and 79 (so far) during Obama’s term, for a total of 147.”
This does not to my knowledge include the Blue Slip process, officially, but should be.
Garland Nomination and the Obstruction of Governmental Processes for Political Advantage
The shall language in Article II Section 2 Paragraph 2 is very important
The pronoun “he” refers to the any current serving president at the time that a vacancy occurs on the US Supreme Court.
He shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the Supreme Court,”
makes the job of advising and consenting to Judges of the Supreme Court mandatory when a vacancy occurs under a sitting president. The US Senate is not given and does not have the right to refuse hearings and refuse an up or down vote of a quorum of the Senate on whether the sitting president’s choice of a nominee, in this case President Obama’s choice of Merrick Garland, can be obstructed by refusing to have hearings and an up or down vote of a quorum of Senators.
The “shall nominate” and “shall appoint” language make at least a floor vote on the nominee Merrick Garland mandatory as a duty all Senators when a quorum of Senators can be convened.
The shall nominate means the president must nominate a judge or judges to fill any vacancy on the supreme court when such vacancy occurs during the president’s term in office.
The shall appoint language modifies the “by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate” phrase and is a prepositional phrase that is an adverbial clause. This adverbial clause modifies the “shall appoint” language and makes the work of the Senate mandatory to advise and consent to any nominee for supreme Court judge. If the Senate were allowed to deny hearings and or deny an up or down vote on Presidential nominees to the Supreme Court, the term “by and with the advice and consent” would be prefaced with the helper verb “may”, that is the Senate may advice and consent. In that case however the advice and consent of the Senate to give advice and consent to the president’s chosen appointment Merrick Garland, would not even be necessary. That is then with the verb “may” added “may give advice and consent” the confirmation hearings and the up or down floor vote would not be needed for the president to make the appointment.
The argument has been used that the Constitution does not contain time constraints. While this is silly on it’s face- it does not matter- shall implies must do, and if there was a delay, and then a vote, this would be a little less egregious, see next paragraph. Instead, the Senate refused to do a Constitutionally mandated duty, exposing themselves to several criminal charges from civil rights deprivation 18 USC 241 and 242, Theft of Honest Government Services, Bribery, and Obstruction of Justice.
The appropriate measure then, would be to look at the previous history of judicial nominations and their times to confirmations, and in this case, the time from nomination to confirmation for Neil Gorsuch. If there is a significant difference- it is fairly clear that they altered normal time frames for their own political gain.
Thus the Senate failed to do it’s Constitutional duty in order to get a Supreme Court pick it did not have in order to keep it. Gorsuch must be removed and the Supreme Court pick reverts back to Obama, because of the illegal actions of the Senators.
The Garland thing was the tip of the iceberg, as McConnell filibustered 300 times in less than 4 years, including 69 judges(approx) more than in the entire previous 230 years forcing Reid to use the Nuclear Option.
69 judges? They held up the workings of the system, so they could get their people in, for years. Everyone working harder, less justice, because there were less justices, to do the job.
After 300 filibusters, and a year without Judiciary hearings, McConnell nukes the filibuster and says getting judges on is of the first priority.In a Country that’s bloodiest war was called Civil, this sort of underhanded
unConstitutional grinding the gears of the machine because you didn’t win was just too unthinkable until this McConnell “leadership” of Senate.
If two or more persons conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or because of his having so exercised the same; or
If two or more persons go in disguise on the highway, or on the premises of another, with intent to prevent or hinder his free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege so secured—
They shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and if death results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, they shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for any term of years or for life, or both, or may be sentenced to death.
18 U.S. Code § 1346 – Definition of “scheme or artifice to defraud”
ribery is the act of giving money, goods or other forms of recompense to a recipient in exchange for an alteration of their behavior (to the benefit/interest of the giver) that the recipient would otherwise not alter. Bribery is defined by Black’s Law Dictionary as the offering, giving, receiving, or soliciting of any item of value to influence the actions of an official or other person in charge of a public or legalduty.Alcohol money case is a real-life example of bribery.
Gifts of money or other items of value which are otherwise available to everyone on an equivalent basis, and not for dishonest purposes, is not bribery. Offering a discount or a refund to all purchasers is a legal rebate and is not bribery. For example, it is legal for an employee of a Public Utilities Commission involved in electric rate regulation to accept a rebate on electric service that reduces their cost for electricity, when the rebate is available to other residential electric customers. Giving the rebate to influence them to look favorably on the electric utility’s rate increase applications, however, would be considered bribery.
In economics, the bribe has been described as rent. Bribery in bureaucracy has been viewed as a reason for the higher cost of production of goods and services.
923. 18 U.S.C. § 371—Conspiracy to Defraud the United States
The general conspiracy statute, 18 U.S.C. § 371, creates an offense “[i]f two or more persons conspire either to commit any offense against the United States, or to defraud the United States, or any agency thereof in any manner or for any purpose. (emphasis added). See Project, Tenth Annual Survey of White Collar Crime, 32 Am. Crim. L. Rev. 137, 379-406 (1995)(generally discussing § 371).
The operative language is the so-called “defraud clause,” that prohibits conspiracies to defraud the United States. This clause creates a separate offense from the “offense clause” in Section 371. Both offenses require the traditional elements of Section 371 conspiracy, including an illegal agreement, criminal intent, and proof of an overt act.
Although this language is very broad, cases rely heavily on the definition of “defraud” provided by the Supreme Court in two early cases, Hass v. Henkel, 216 U.S. 462 (1910), and Hammerschmidt v. United States, 265 U.S. 182 (1924). In Hass the Court stated:
The statute is broad enough in its terms to include any conspiracy for the purpose of impairing, obstructing or defeating the lawful function of any department of government . . . (A)ny conspiracy which is calculated to obstruct or impair its efficiency and destroy the value of its operation and reports as fair, impartial and reasonably accurate, would be to defraud the United States by depriving it of its lawful right and duty of promulgating or diffusing the information so officially acquired in the way and at the time required by law or departmental regulation.
Hass, 216 U.S. at 479-480. In Hammerschmidt, Chief Justice Taft, defined “defraud” as follows:
To conspire to defraud the United States means primarily to cheat the Government out of property or money, but it also means to interfere with or obstruct one of its lawful governmental functions by deceit, craft or trickery, or at least by means that are dishonest. It is not necessary that the Government shall be subjected to property or pecuniary loss by the fraud, but only that its legitimate official action and purpose shall be defeated by misrepresentation, chicane or the overreaching of those charged with carrying out the governmental intention.
18 U.S. Code § 1505 – Obstruction of proceedings before departments, agencies, and committees
Whoever corruptly, or by threats or force, or by any threatening letter or communication influences, obstructs, or impedes or endeavors to influence, obstruct, or impede the due and proper administration of the law under which any pending proceeding is being had before any department or agency of the United States, or the due and proper exercise of the power of inquiry under which any inquiry or investigation is being had by either House, or any committee of either House or any joint committee of the Congress—
Shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 5 years or, if the offense involves international or domestic terrorism (as defined in section 2331), imprisoned not more than 8 years, or both.
Trump moving to fire Rosenstein. Dunno why or how either in this instance or under Nixon, the President Constitutionally wouldn’t have the power to do so. Hardly seems that applies in this present structure. The advice not to- still holds- because the current momentum is too great to get the whole shebang back under wraps through firings. Millions of people know what is going on and are pretty worked up about it. It would be throwing gasoline on a fire.
The Russia investigation is Constitutional- it is really the sort of emoluments step- that should be taken on becoming a Presidential candidate- as expensive as that might be- financial transactions at that level are going to be numerous, and Trump transacted a lot of business with foreign countries.
Stormy Daniels and his transgressions with her- are really small potatoes- the campaign finance violations are major thing- and it brought down a Presidential candidate, John Edwards in 2004 or so. It also looks like they knowingly masked the transactions to avoid the attention to it.
The election itself was defective, from jump, and while the Russia portion is a part of it – the real story is in the pattern of actions over time, by the RNC.
The overall thing is, it can procedurally be shown that the difference in the election- amounting to 107,000 votes in unexpected wins over 4 states- .01% of the vote total- would be dwarfed by the sheer scale of the illegal state and near state interference in the election- the RNC, at least a million.
The Electoral College election- the “real election” featured 50 unqualified electors- many states require that state officials *** cannot *** be electors- because it’s holding two offices, or must be from their specific districts. It seems super technical- but the electoral college is. If you use a faked birth certificate to get a drivers license- you don’t get to keep it and drive. Or, if it requires driver school certification that is faked- the license will be revoked. While this could be considered a smaller violation that would be let pass under most circumstances, the defect certainly allows and perhaps requires a closer look at the underlying processes.
The RNC was under consent decree- a court ordered agreement with the DNC – to stay away from ballot security initiatives- for almost 30 years- because of how many felonies the RNC committed in New Jersey in 1982 Gubernatorial election. Further this was a sweeping decree in which the RNC agreed not only as an organization, but to prevent members, state parties, and related entities from engaging in these activities.
They were found, in court, to have violated those consent decree
In 1987, 1990, and 2004. In 2008 the Courts found no violation, though the facts seem to suggest otherwise.
As these are felony violations, the RNC could be considered a hardened criminal, especially since the Courts say corporations are people.
The term “ballot security” is defined in the 2009 modification as follows: (3) . . . any program aimed at combatting voter fraud by preventing potential voters from registering to vote or casting a ballot. Such programs include, but are not limited to,6 the compilation of voter challenge lists by use of mailing or reviewing databases maintained by state agencies such as motor vehicle records, social security records, change of address forms, and voter lists assembled pursuant to the HAVA7;
Essentially- because Republicans have been found to be suppressing the votes of minorities- felony Constitutional violations, multiple times, they are forbidden from making decisions that would stop people from voting, or anything that would involve making sure that voter registration was accurate, or the polls were more secure, because they could not be trusted to do so without racial discrimination
Then they passed Voter ID laws in 14 states to improve the ballot security, and started a program called CrossCheck, which ended up with more than 98 million records- identifying 7.2 million of them as ‘double voters”- potential felons- because first and last names matched up in different states- recommending that people be purged in both states.
These laws were found in two different states- to have been passed with racially discriminatory intent.