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House committee to probe Trump’s ‘corrupt’ plan to host G7 at his Florida resort as part of ‘impeachment investigation’

2019-08-29

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler pictured presiding over a hearing in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill in June. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The House Judiciary Committee is gearing up to investigate President Trump’s proposal to host next year’s Group of Seven summit at his Florida resort, chairman Jerry Nadler said Wednesday, blasting the plan as a textbook example of “corruption and self-dealing.”

In a joint statement, Nadler (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.), the chairman of the panel’s subcommittee on constitutional rights, said the G7 inquiry will fold into their sweeping “impeachment investigation” into Trump’s alleged “obstruction of justice, public corruption and other abuses of power.”

The Dems said they’ll start scheduling hearings and demanding documents once Congress kicks back into session next month.

Specifically, Nadler and Cohen said Trump’s plan to host the 2020 G7 at the Trump National Doral resort outside Miami could violate the foreign and domestic emoluments clauses of the constitution, which bar sitting presidents from accepting personal gifts or titles from federal agencies or foreign governments.

“The president’s personal financial interests are clearly shaping decisions about official U.S. government activities, and this is precisely the type of risk that the Constitution’s Emoluments Clauses were intended to prevent,” they said. “This week’s revelation...is only the latest in a troubling pattern of corruption and self-dealing by the president.”

A White House spokesman did not return a request for comment.

Trump raised eyebrows around the world as he floated during a widely televised press conference at this year’s G7 in France, that he’s hoping to throw 2020's diplomatic shindig at the Doral club.

The president claimed his proposal had nothing to do with profit, saying his team had decided on the Trump-branded property because of its proximity to Miami’s airport and “spectacular” bungalows.

But Trump didn’t mention that, since he refused to fully divest ownership stake in his namesake company upon taking office, he would stand to personally profit from throwing a major international summit like the G7 at one of his resorts.

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The 2019 G7 Summit

Nadler and Cohen said Congress needs to get to the bottom of what went into Trump’s decision.

“Potential violations of the Foreign and Domestic Emoluments Clauses of the Constitution are of significant interest and grave concern to the committee as it considers whether to recommend articles of impeachment," they said. “The Committee will broaden its ongoing investigation to include these latest revelations and will take further investigative steps.”

The judiciary panel is already mulling whether to recommend articles of impeachment to the full House in response to former special counsel Robert Mueller’s refusal to exonerate Trump of obstruction crimes.

It’s unclear if Nadler would be successful in securing testimony or documents on Trump’s G7 plans, as the White House has consistently stonewalled all Democratic attempts at oversight in recent months.