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Thursday, July 13, 2017

New York Times Opinion Editorial: Yes, Trump Can Accept Gifts

Josh Blackman & Seth Barrett Tillman, Opinion Editorial, Yes, Trump Can Accept GiftsNY Times (July 13, 2017), http://tinyurl.com/ycqa26bs


An Extract from NY Times Opinion Editorial

On Friday, President Trump will celebrate Bastille Day in Paris to reaffirm“America’s strong ties of friendship with France.” More than two centuries ago, the storming of the Bastille was commemorated when the Marquis de Lafayette, then a French government official, gave President George Washington the main key to the demolished fortress — a gift Washington kept without asking for Congress’s permission. Indeed, other early presidents followed this tradition of accepting gifts from other nations without ever seeking congressional consent.

This practice is one that Mr. Trump’s legal adversaries ignore as they attempt to redefine the meaning of the Constitution’s Foreign Emoluments Clause. Federal courts should not allow them to create a new legal restriction on the president’s conduct.


The Constitution offers several remedies for a president’s improper foreign entanglements. Congress can regulate, by statute, the receipt of presents from other nations or require the president to make disclosures about his foreign commercial arrangements. Of course, as a last resort, the president can be impeached and removed from office for bribery. However, the Foreign Emoluments Clause can provide no redress in relation to a president’s foreign entanglements either in the courts or through the impeachment process, for the simple reason that the clause does not cover the president or any other elected officials.

Seth Barrett Tillman, New York Times Opinion Editorial: Yes, Trump Can Accept Gifts, New Reform Club (July 13, 2017), http://tinyurl.com/yba5zatc


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