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Trump got millions from foreign governments while in White House, report finds

Trump got millions from foreign governments while in White House, report finds

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump stands on stage after speaking during a commit to caucus rally, Saturday, Jan. 6, 2024, in Clinton, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

By Isabel Soisson

January 8, 2024

Donald Trump’s businesses received at least $7.8 million from 20 foreign governments during his presidency, according to new documents released by House Democrats on Thursday. 

Democratic congressional investigators said in a 156-page report released that four businesses tied to Donald Trump received payments from governments of countries like  China, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Malaysia

The foreign governments spent “lavishly” on apartments and hotel stays at properties owned by Trump’s family businesses, “personally enriching President Trump while he made foreign policy decisions connected to their policy agendas with far-reaching ramifications for the United States,” according to the report. 

The report, authored by Congressman Jamie Raskin of Maryland, the ranking Democrat on the oversight committee,  further states that the former president “repeatedly and willfully” violated the US constitution by “allowing his businesses to accept millions of dollars from some of the most corrupt nations on Earth.”

When Trump took office in 2017, he broke both precedent and his own campaign promises when he decided not to divest from his businesses or put them into a blind trust. Instead, his sons managed them.

In 2019, Congress began investigating conflicts of interest and Trump’s potential violations of the emoluments clause of the US constitution, which bars a federal elected official from accepting gifts from foreign states without congressional approval. 

The report argues that no president besides Trump has “ever come so close to brazenly ignoring the Foreign Emoluments Clause.” It also argues that Congress should consider adopting new measures to prevent such violations in the future.

After a lengthy court dispute, the investigation ended in a settlement in 2022. It was only after this that Trump’s accounting firm, Mazars, began producing requested documents for investigators. When Republicans took over the House of Representatives in 2023, however, House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.) ended the congressional investigation into Trump’s alleged violations of the emoluments clause. 

The four businesses cited in the report were the Trump International Hotel in Washington, Trump Tower and Trump World Tower in New York, and Trump International Hotel in Las Vegas. 

Rep. Robert Garcia, D-Calif., said at a news conference on Thursday that the nearly $8 million investigators identified was likely only a “small window” into the amount of money the Trump family likely received during the former president’s time in office. 

“What we have is a fraction of what is likely an enormous amount of grift and violation of the Constitution, and so I think that’s really important to note,” he said.

Author

  • Isabel Soisson

    Isabel Soisson is a multimedia journalist who has worked at WPMT FOX43 TV in Harrisburg, along with serving various roles at CNBC, NBC News, Philadelphia Magazine, and Philadelphia Style Magazine.

CATEGORIES: POLITICS | TRUMP
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