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Democrats Demand Information on Government Spending at Trump Resorts

Trump National Doral golf resort in Fla., March 18, 2019. (Joe Skipper/Reuters)

House Democrats intensified their interest in President Trump’s alleged efforts to encourage government spending at his luxury resorts, requesting information on White House officials’ stays at various Trump properties in several letters released Friday.

The House Judiciary and Oversight Committees asked for records regarding Vice President Pence’s stay at Trump’s Doonbeg hotel in Ireland, as well as the president’s suggestion that the 2020 G-7 summit be held at Trump National Doral Miami, expressing concern that such overlap between the administration and the president’s businesses was unconstitutional.

The chairmen also noted that the matter is significant for lawmakers as they weigh whether to recommend impeachment for Trump.

“Potential violations of the Foreign and Domestic Emoluments Clauses of the Constitution are of grave concern to the Committee as it considers whether to recommend articles of impeachment,” Oversight and Reform Committee chairman Elijah Cummings and Judiciary Committee chairman Jerrold Nadler said in a joint statement.

The letters to the White House, the vice president, the Secret Service, and the Trump Organization pointed out that Congress must approve any benefits received by the president from foreign or domestic governments, and that the arrangement could force foreign governments to do business with Trump’s companies just to engage in diplomacy with the U.S.

“The Doral situation reflects perhaps the first publicly known instance in which foreign governments would be required to spend foreign government funds at President Trump’s private businesses in order to engage in official diplomatic negotiations and meetings with the United States,” the chairmen wrote.

“The Committee does not believe that U.S. taxpayer funds should be used to personally enrich President Trump, his family, and his companies,” Cummings added.

Trump has defended his suggestion of using his Miami resort for the annual meeting of the world’s seven largest economies.

“Doral happens to be within Miami. It’s a city, it’s a wonderful place,” Trump said at this year’s G-7 summit. “It’s very importantly only five minutes from the airport — the airport is right next door.”

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