Small question here

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (Crew) said it would file the lawsuit in a Manhattan federal court on Monday morning.
“We did not want to get to this point,” Crew executive director Noah Bookbinder said in a statement.
“It was our hope that President Trump would take the necessary steps to avoid violating the Constitution before he took office. We were forced to take legal action.”
The US constitution says no federal official should receive a gift or “emolument” – a fee – from a foreign government.

They’re claiming that getting paid for a hotel room by a government violates the emoluents clause.

So, a small question. Did Obama getting book royalties from a Chinese state owned publisher violate the same clause?

Please show your working.

(I have sent an email to ask and will share any result).

33 thoughts on “Small question here”

  1. That BBC headline you link to describes CREW as a “US legal watchdog”. Given that CREW is not a government agency and styles it self as “progressive”, that is very misleading. ‘US legal campaign group’ would have been more accurate, for example.

  2. Once again, the acronym defeats the mission statement.

    Citizens for Responsibility? What the fuck does that mean? Is responsibility a thing that a self -selected group of humans can nourish and nurture? Not on my planet.

  3. It’s a well known fact that when a foreign dignitary, or even Obama, visits us, the FCO pays not a penny in hospitality. Oh no.

    The Pol Roger Michelle was seen chucking down the back of her neck was supplied by Keith Bracewell Snotrag carer of the Queens Corgis’ Fleas, a well known Democrat acitivist employed by HM’s family since the Boston Tea Party, who was making amends for being the wrong Party Party.

  4. Obama accepted a million bucks for Nobel Peace (sic) Prize, given by the Norwegian Nobel Committee, a Norwegian government agency.

    ‘said it would file the lawsuit in a Manhattan federal court on Monday morning.’

    If like most courts, it will take two years to get a hearing. If even granted. I bet the court gets all sorts of junk claims like this, which they dismiss with prejudice.

    Indeed, telling us what they are going to do in the future, allegedly, is NOT news. Publishing it is crap. Had they even filed it it would not be news. Fake news. Fakey fake news.

  5. Actually, Obama got paid. Trump owns a company which got paid. He got then paid by the company. Royalties are merely collected on your behalf by your publisher (in theory …)

    Unless he’s operating as a sole-trader (which he clearly isn’t because he’s not been bankrupted by any of the business failures), there’s the small concept of the “corporate veil”.

    Which causes all the problems with corporate manslaughter, “why are there so few bank executives in prison”, etc, etc.

  6. The Inimitable Steve

    SE – Ding, ding, ding! Hit the target.

    It’s heartening though to see shitlibs doubling down on everything that failed them before.

    Soul-searching on why the majority of normal Americans rejected Hillary, progressivism, globalism, feminism, immigrationism and Heinz’s 57 gender pronouns would be hard.

    So they’re stuck with magical thinking instead. Believing there’s One Weird Trick that will TOTALLY DESTROY Drumpf.

  7. And these lawyers would have been rushing to file an equivalent suit based on donations to the Clinton Foundation?

    No, thought not…

  8. Update. I complained to the BBC about the headline of their piece. I see ‘US legal watchdog’ has now been changed to ‘Ethics lawyers…’.

  9. I, for one, am very concerned that the promise of getting paid for a hotel room will cause the President, a man worth somewhere between many hundreds of millions and a billion or two, to ignore the national interest.

    A couple hundred bucks is a couple of hundred bucks.

  10. This is right up there with the hyperventilating about Trump refusing to release his tax return. As I remarked to a liberal acquaintance of mine who complained about it, “You couldn’t understand it if you had it. So what exactly is the problem?”

  11. So Much For Subtlety

    Bookbinder seems to be an Ivy League graduate who worked as an advisor to Patrick Leahy. That is, a man whose main achievement, apart for voting for and against the Partial Birth Abortion ban, is appearing in an unusually large number of Batman films.

    Apart from that, he is your standard liberal anti-Iraq, pro-abortion, anti-abstinence, pro-flag-burning, anti-austerity, pro-single payer gutless middle of the road leftist who for some reason calls himself a Catholic.

  12. “will share any result”: oh for fuck’s sake, Tim. “Share” indeed! You’ll be singing Nelly the Elephant next.

  13. 1. Cool! You need to learn something new every day, and my something new for today is the word “emolument”.

    2. If they prevail, this may prevent Paris Hilton from ever becoming POTUS. I think the case should be dismissed on those grounds alone.

    3. Seriously? Does this apply (in their opinion) only to whole owners, or also to anyone whose pension fund is invested in some hotel chain? I spy with my little eye a non-American holding an iPhone. Guess anyone who owns stock in Apple is prohibited from serving as POTUS. Sorry, Tim (Cook, not Worstall)

  14. “It was our hope that President Trump would take the necessary steps to avoid violating the Constitution before he took office. … The US constitution says no federal official should receive a gift or “emolument” – a fee – from a foreign government”

    Hold on, how did Trump manage to be a federal official before he took office as a federal official?

  15. “Surprisingly enough, that article was a parody.”

    Or satire? Either way, a little heavy-handed for my taste, but mildly amusing.

  16. “Ethics lawyers”

    Not quite as good as “Fact Sherpas” but close.

    That’s just what the Left needs to recapture the working class vote they snubbed with their “Progressive Internationalism” – lefty middle class lawyers examining hotel receipts with a magnifying glass.

  17. Dear Mr Worstall

    No problem: Obama will soon be outed as not being born a US citizen and therefore will never have been president.

    The good ol’ US of A has been without a bona fide pres. for the last 8 years, so they can bin all those executive orders for starters and stop his pension.


    Hope this helps.


  18. Did the Obama family pay for their visit to the Harry Potter studios? I saw their preposterous vehicle pull into the studio and pondered….

  19. I wish to know how much the Obamas paid for the meals they took at Buckingham Palace.

    Did the Obama family pay for their visit to the Harry Potter studios?

    There’s no ban on federal officials receiving emoluments from foreign companies. Just, as in your first example, governments. Although calling “Warner Bros” a ‘foreign company’ is probably exaggerating slightly (even though the company that runs the studio tour is registered E&W.)

    As an aside, dealing with US regular military and federal law enforcement, they certainly do insist on paying for their own meals. You can occasionally buy them a beer, though. If there is no way to pay, the senior officer present will declare the value of the meal and they all pay that to the senior Brit. Who then promptly declares that the beer kitty. In my experience, anyway.

    Recently, I’ve been dealing more with the National Guard and, not being feds, they don’t have the same problem (although some of them have fed day jobs or are on Title 10 mobilisation – but they don’t have the ‘we must’ attitude. Which makes it less socially awkward.)

  20. SE, so by the same token, I guess the US Ambassador (or adc) will have come to an arrangement with the Royal caterers and Warner Bros UK. Hey… St Obama and everything

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