House Democrats on the Oversight Committee released a 156-page report accusing former President Donald Trump of unconstitutionally profiting from the presidency by receiving millions of dollars from foreign governments during his tenure. The report alleges that Trump’s businesses received at least $7.8 million from corrupt and authoritarian governments, including China, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar. The findings, stemming from a nearly seven-year investigation, claim that Trump violated the Constitution’s Foreign Emoluments Clause, which prohibits the president from benefiting financially from foreign governments without congressional approval.
China was reported as making the most payments to Trump’s businesses during his presidency, with expenditures exceeding $5.5 million at Trump Tower in New York and two hotels in Washington and Las Vegas. The report suggests that the $7.8 million figure is likely a fraction of the total unlawful foreign state funds received by Trump.
The investigation, initiated in 2016 by the late Rep. Elijah Cummings, was halted when House Republicans took control of the committee in the previous year. Democrats had subpoenaed Trump’s former accounting firm, Mazars USA, in 2019, and after legal battles that reached the Supreme Court, records were obtained. However, Mazars was released from its obligation to provide further documentation under Republican committee control.
The report, while offering a significant glimpse into Trump’s foreign financial dealings, acknowledges its incompleteness due to the curtailed investigation. House Republicans criticized the report as part of Democrats’ ongoing obsession with Trump, while Democrats argue that the findings highlight Trump’s use of the presidency for personal financial gain, potentially in violation of the Constitution. This comes amid ongoing Republican-led investigations into President Joe Biden’s family finances, with GOP investigators alleging financial benefits from foreign business dealings, though direct implications for Biden have not been established.