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Tag: trump ethics

In Ethics Violation,Trump Displays Presidential Seal At Saudi Golf Tourney

Former President Trump has continued to use the presidential seal eighteen months after exiting the White House despite ethics complaints and the risk of running afoul of federal law.

In a report on Friday, the Washington Post disclosed that the presidential seal was seen affixed to multiple items at Trump’s golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey — as the one-time president hosts the controversial Saudi Arabian-sponsored LIV Golf tournament in light of the Saudi government’s alleged human rights abuses.

“The seal was plastered on towels, golf carts, and other items,” the Post stated. The wall of a viewing room on the 18th green also had the seal on it, according to The Independent, despite complaints that the image was being exploited for commercial purposes.

The Post also noted that using the “presidential and vice-presidential seals in ways that could convey a false impression of sponsorship or approval by the Government of the United States” violates federal law and could result in “imprisonment of not more than six months, a fine, or both.”

The report comes one year after a nonpartisan ethics watchdog, Citizens for Responsibility & Ethics in Washington, demanded the Justice Department investigate the ex-president’s Bedminster golf club’s illegal use of the seal.

The watchdog filed a criminal complaint last July after the seal was spotted on a tee golf marker in an Instagram photo earlier that month.

However, as is his nature, Trump has persisted in wanton disregard for ethics, law, and civility. In June, a Forbes reporter called attention to an Instagram photo posted in April showing the seal in the grass near the 18th hole near the Trump International golf course in West Palm Beach, Florida.


ProPublica disclosed in a 2018 report that the Trump Organization had ordered “dozens” of golf course markers bearing the presidential emblem, which denotes the possibility of their use for commercial purposes.

The seal has appeared in at least four of Trump’s golf clubs so far, including one in the Bronx and another in Jupiter, Florida.

In its 2021 criminal complaint, the watchdog accused Trump of illegally profiting from the presidential emblem while “actively challenging the legitimacy” of President Biden’s victory.

“Unlawful use of the presidential seal for commercial purposes is no trivial matter, especially when it involves a former president who is actively challenging the legitimacy of the current president,” the ethics watchdog wrote.

The flagrant use of the presidential logo isn’t the only controversy encircling the former president, who the Justice Department is reportedly investigating for his efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.

9/11 justice groups slammed Trump for hosting the cash-rich LIV Golf event “less than 50 miles from Ground Zero” and denounced participating golfers as “cowards” for denying that they were partaking in the tournament solely for the money.

“If we can’t get a golfer to at least look us in the eye and tell us they are doing it for the money and they don’t give a s*** about the atrocities of Saudi Arabia, they’re cowards,” said a protester whose father died in the World Trade Center on 9/11.

Trump dismissed the criticism, some of which originated from families of survivors and victims of 9/11.

“I don’t know much about the 9/11 families, I don’t know what is the relationship to this, and their very strong feelings, and I can understand their feelings,” Trump told the Wall Street Journal.

#EndorseThis: Trevor Noah Asks Us To Imagine How The Trump Era Might End

Nobody keeps closer tabs on the snarled ethics of the Trump family than Trevor Noah. In his latest, the Daily Show host recalls how only months ago, during an interview with ABC correspondent Barbara Walters, First Daughter Ivanka promised not to accept a nepotistic White House job.

“I’m going to be a daughter,” she simpered, flashing that bright smile. Last week, the White House announced that she would indeed take a job as “Assistant to the President.” Maybe she should have said, “I’m going to be a liar.”

As for his sons, Eric and Donald, Jr are supposed to be running their father’s sprawling commercial interests without any ethically compromising presidential input. But last week, Eric Trump disclosed that he would be “reporting” to his dad on the Trump Organization’s business “sometime, all the time!”

Noah then reflects on recent developments in South Korea, where erstwhile president Park Geun-hye has been arrested on the corruption charges that led to her removal from office. “A president impeached, removed from office, and thrown in jail,” he muses. “Imagine that…no, really, imagine…”

Yes, just imagine.

President Trump Sued Over Foreign Government Payments To His Firms

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A group of prominent constitutional and ethics lawyers sued President Donald Trump on Monday, accusing him of violating the U.S. Constitution by letting his hotels and other businesses accept payments from foreign governments.

The lawsuit filed in federal court in Manhattan by the nonprofit Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington contended that Trump is “submerged in conflicts of interest” because of ties with countries such as China, India, and potentially Russia.

It seeks to stop Trump from accepting any improper payments, citing a constitutional provision known as the “emoluments” clause that bans them.

A spokeswoman for Morgan Lewis & Bockius, a law firm representing the president on ethics matters, said: “We do not comment on our clients or the work we do for them.”

The lawsuit is part of a wave of litigation expected from liberal advocacy groups against Trump, a Republican who took office on Friday.

On Jan. 11, Trump said he would retain ownership of his global business empire while president, but hand off day-to-day control to his oldest sons, Eric and Donald Jr..

Sheri Dillon, a partner at Morgan Lewis and a Trump adviser, at the time said profit generated at Trump’s hotels from foreign governments would be donated to the U.S. Treasury.

But the plaintiff said Trump’s refusal to cede ownership or set up a blind trust has resulted in conflicts of interest that leave him “poised” to violate the Constitution repeatedly while in the White House.

The emoluments clause forbids Trump and other U.S. officeholders from accepting various gifts from foreign governments without congressional approval.

According to the complaint, that means payments by foreign governments for such things as leases at Trump Tower in New York, stays at Trump’s hotels, rounds at Trump’s golf courses, and the rights to rebroadcast or create their own versions of Trump’s reality TV show “The Apprentice” are illegal.

The lawsuit said the Constitution’s framers intended to ban such payments, believing that “private financial interests can subtly sway even the most virtuous leaders, and entanglements between American officials and foreign powers could pose a creeping, insidious threat to the Republic.”

China, India, Indonesia, Turkey, and the United Kingdom are among the countries with which Trump’s companies do or plan to do business, and Trump had been trying to do business with Russia for at least three decades, the complaint said.

The lawsuit also alleged that payments next month from a Washington hotel booking by the Embassy of Kuwait for its “National Day” celebration “will go directly to defendant while he is president.”

To justify its standing to sue, the plaintiff said it has been “significantly injured” by having to divert resources to the lawsuit, and field hundreds of media questions about Trump’s businesses.

Among the lawyers who worked on the complaint were constitutional scholars Laurence Tribe, from Harvard University, and Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of the University of California at Irvine’s law school.

Others include Richard Painter, who was a White House ethics lawyer under former Republican President George W. Bush.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Frances Kerry and Jonathan Oatis)

IMAGE: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during the Inaugural Law Enforcement Officers and First Responders Reception in the Blue Room of the White House in Washington, U.S., January 22, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts