Trump Chooses Doral Miami Resort As Site Of Next G7 Summit — And There Might Be Legal Consequences Of Him Doing So
Acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney announced on Thursday that President Donald Trump, in conjunction with research from White House staff, has determined that the next site for the United States-hosted G-7 Summit will be at one of his own properties.
Mulvaney said that the summit’s costs were what prompted him and others to come around to the idea, proposed by Trump, that the international summit should take place at the Trump Organization’s Doral Miami resort, the Washington Examiner reported.
In August, when Trump initially (and publicly) stated an argument in favor of Doral being the site of the G-7 Summit, the president defended the choice as being a great location, close to the Miami airport.
“Doral happens to be…only five minutes from the airport, the airport’s right next door,” Trump said at the time. “And by the way, my people looked at 12 sites, all good, but some were two hours from the airport, some four hours.”
Mulvaney said he himself was skeptical of the idea, but came around to it after he considered costs of other proposed sites. He also said that Trump “made it very clear” he wasn’t planning to profit from the summit.
Trump has not divested any of the properties he owns, and continues to profit from them while serving as president.
Some were skeptical of the idea that Trump wouldn’t benefit financially from the decision to host the G-7 at one of his properties, including Harvard Law professor Laurence Tribe, who suggested the choice was a clear violation of the Domestic Emoluments Clause of the second Article of the Constitution.
Mulvaney’s statement that Trump will not profit personally from this decision is total BS. This will violate the Domestic Emoluments Clause of Article II for sure.https://t.co/h7PqVSRbyG
— Laurence Tribe (@tribelaw) October 17, 2019
That clause reads as follows:
The President shall, at stated times, receive for his services, a compensation, which shall neither be increased nor diminished during the period for which he shall have been elected, and he shall not receive within that period any other emolument from the United States, or any of them.
In August when Trump first made the suggestion that his Doral Miami resort may be used for the G-7 Summit, others suggested it was also an Article I violation of the Emoluments Clause found therein. As foreign leaders would be paying to stay at Trump’s properties, and paying for their entourages to stay there as well, it could present what many see as a clear violation of that part of the Constitution.
The Article I version of the Emoluments Clause reads:
No title of nobility shall be granted by the United States: and no person holding any office of profit or trust under them, shall, without the consent of the Congress, accept of any present, emolument, office, or title, of any kind whatever, from any king, prince, or foreign state.
In August, the non-profit ethics organization CREW (Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington) sent a letter to the State Department, demanding an examination of the possibility and legality of Trump selecting Doral as the G-7 Summit’s location.
“The prospect that Trump National Doral could be selected as the site for the G7 Summit in 2020 is concerning because the government will need to award a contract for a facility to host the event – and President Trump would directly benefit from its selection,” CREW wrote in its letter. “The stunning revelation that the President of the United States is competing with American companies for a federal contract to host an event that he will lead in his official capacity marks a new low in an already ethically troubled administration.”
As a formal impeachment inquiry is ongoing at this time within the House of Representatives, it’s possible that this decision could be included in the articles of impeachment against Trump, should lawmakers determine it is necessary to move onto that stage.