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Representative Jamie Raskin (D-MD) has formally requested former President Donald Trump to return approximately $7.8 million that Trump’s companies allegedly received from foreign governments during his presidency.
This demand, outlined in a letter by Raskin, follows a recent report by House Oversight and Accountability Committee Democrats. The report accuses Trump’s businesses of accepting money from foreign entities across 20 countries, potentially violating the Constitution’s Emoluments Clause.
In his letter, Raskin sharply criticized Trump’s actions, describing them as a “stunning violation of the US Constitution” and a “profound betrayal” of both the United States and its people. The report highlighted that most of these payments, about $5.6 million, originated from China and were directed to Trump’s hotels in Washington, Las Vegas, and Trump Tower in New York.
Raskin noted that the $7.8 million figure is likely an underestimation and does not include a significant portion of the funds Trump received. He pointed out that the investigation was hindered by Rep. James Comer (R-KY), who became the committee chair last January, preventing a complete account of Trump’s foreign emoluments. Raskin accused Trump of spending years in litigation against the Committee to obstruct access to documents related to these foreign payments.
The report suggests that the countries providing funds to Trump’s businesses sought favors and specific policy outcomes from his administration. This issue is particularly significant as Oversight Committee Republicans are investigating President Biden’s family finances, including similar allegations of foreign money in business dealings involving Biden’s son and brother.
During a committee hearing on Thursday, Raskin and Rep. Byron Donalds (R-FL) engaged in a heated exchange over the foreign money claims. Raskin emphasized that there are no exceptions to the foreign emoluments clause, dismissing any justifications based on hotel or international real estate syndicate dealings.