- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 14, 2017

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Almost 200 Democrats in Congress have joined forced to announce they’re filing a lawsuit against President Donald Trump over allegations he unlawfully profited from overseas governments.

It’s a play to see his tax returns under the guise of the emoluments clause of the Constitution.

One-hundred and ninety-six Democrats — not one Republican — banded together to complain that Trump’s businesses have deprived them of their abilities to perform their constitutional duties to the people. Talk about disingenuous.

You think Democrats give a whip about the Constitution — about saving the U.S. from the potential of a president who takes payments from an overseas source becoming influenced to harm or sell out America? Heck no. Two words: Clinton Foundation.

“Throughout the course of [Hillary] Clinton’s [presidential] campaign, she dealt with ‘pay to play’ charges based on what some alleged was direct State Department action after larger foreign donations to her family foundation,” the Daily Signal reported.

These weren’t bitty amounts of money, either. WikiLeaks, for instance, uncovered some interesting email conversations among Clinton staffers who debated, back in 2015, the optics of her travel to Morocco to accept $12 million in donations to the Clinton Foundation.

Where were the Democrats on investigating Clinton — and the foundation her family established in 1997, halfway through Bill Clinton’s presidential terms, which subsequently went on to take in $2 billion or so in donations from corporations, politicians, overseas governments and overseas politicians?

Right. But Trump, whose hotel in Washington, D.C., is paid by those who stay there, is the bigger threat to America — in Democrats’ minds.

It’d be ridiculous — except, of course, these suits against Trump aren’t about saving Americans from harm. They’re about bringing down Trump, distracting Trump from his White House goals, destroying the Republican Party and conservative ideals and, as a side note, obtaining access to Trump’s personal tax records.

The suit accuses Trump of illegally profiting from his businesses while in the White House — meaning, people from foreign governments stay in his hotels and pay their bills.

And the witch hunt is on: Attorneys general from Maryland and the District of Columbia have jumped to sue; a watchdog ethics group in the nation’s capital jumped to sue; and private hotel and restaurant retailers jumped to sue — all for the same reason.

Democrats in Congress make four, and their suit is being led by Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Rep. John Conyers of Michigan.

What’s a bit humorous about the Democrats’ suit, though, is that any finding that dings Trump will ultimately turn 180 degrees and ding them. If an emolument is defined by the court as a hotel bill — well then, watch the trickle-down effect for members of Congress. The emoluments clause is only intended for the executive and judiciary branches of government. But what’s good for the White House goose is certainly good for the congressional gander; can you imagine the optics of a political party proving illegality on the part of a president, but then carrying on with the same behaviors themselves?

The suits are ridiculous, though. Founding Fathers never intended that a president couldn’t own a free-market business. What they worried about was the notion of influence peddling with foreign governments — particularly with foreign entities that would benefit one at the expense of a nation.

And on that count, Democrats — and Democrats’ dear leaders in the White House and executive — have proven to be the real threats.

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