Sunday, February 19, 2017
Feinstein: Trump trademark in China may violate Constitution; Politico, February 17, 2017
Kyle Cheney, Politico;
"A decision by the Chinese government to grant President Donald Trump a trademark for his brand could be a breach of the U.S. Constitution, a senior Democratic senator warned Friday.
“China’s decision to award President Trump with a new trademark allowing him to profit from the use of his name is a clear conflict of interest and deeply troubling,” said Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) in a statement. “If this isn’t a violation of the Emoluments Clause, I don’t know what is.”
The Emoluments Clause of the Constitution prohibits federal officials — including the president — from accepting payments from foreign governments. Trump’s critics have argued that Trump’s opaque and byzantine business network could run afoul of this principle.
“The fact that this decision comes just days after a conversation between President Trump and President Xi Jinping where President Trump reaffirmed the U.S. policy of ‘One China’ is even more disturbing as it gives the obvious impression of a quid pro quo,” said Feinstein, ranking member of the Judiciary Committee."