The Constitution prohibits federal officeholders from accepting money, payments or gifts “of any kind whatever” from foreign governments and monarchs unless they obtain “the consent of the Congress” to do so. The report notes that Mr. Trump never went to Congress to seek consent.
House Democrats highlighted the transactions on Thursday as a counterweight to Republicans’ impeachment inquiry into Mr. Biden, which has sought to tie him to international business deals by his son Hunter Biden before his father became president in a bid to prove corruption or influence peddling. They have so far failed to show that President Biden was enriched in any way by any of those transactions.
“By elevating his personal financial interests and the policy priorities of corrupt foreign powers over the American public interest, former President Trump violated both the clear commands of the Constitution and the careful precedent set and observed by every previous commander in chief,” Representative Jamie Raskin of Maryland, the top Democrat on the Oversight Committee, wrote in a foreword to the report.
Among the countries patronizing Mr. Trump’s properties, China made the largest total payment — $5.5 million — to his business interests, the report found. Those payments included millions of dollars from China’s Embassy in the United States, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and the Hainan Airlines Holding Company.
Saudi Arabia was the second-largest spender, shelling out more than $615,000 at the Trump World Tower and Trump International Hotel.