FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 23, 2016
Photo: Associated Press
Contact: Daniel Stevens, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202.780.5750
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Campaign for Accountability (CfA) asked the Obama administration to publicly release information regarding security for Trump Organization properties around the world. Trump has properties in many countries, including Azerbaijan, Bermuda, Brazil, Canada, China, India, Ireland, Israel, Istanbul, Panama, the Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Scotland, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and Uruguay. Now that Donald J. Trump has been elected President of the United States, these properties and guests and visitors to them are facing increased security risks.
CfA Executive Director Anne Weismann stated, “The Trump name is emblazoned on buildings around the world, making them enticing targets for terrorists. First and foremost, the United States has a responsibility to ensure the safety of individuals frequenting these properties. At the same time, providing security to a president’s private business interests raises many difficult issues.”
If the Trump organization and/or the U.S. is relying on foreign governments to provide security at any of these properties, it may implicate the Emoluments Clause of the U.S. Constitution, which provides that no government officer may “accept any present, emolument, office, or title, of any kind whatever, from any king, prince or foreign state.”
CfA asked the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security, the CIA, the Office of National Intelligence, the National Security Advisor, and the Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel to explain: 1) whether the U.S., any government contractor, or any foreign governments is providing security to Trump Organization properties; 2) what the costs of these measures are; 3) who is footing the bill – the Trump Organization, foreign governments, or American taxpayers; and 4) whether any legal analysis has been prepared regarding the constitutionality of any payments.
Ms. Weismann continued, “Most Americans have never heard of the Emoluments Clause, but how it will be applied to Mr. Trump and his vast overseas real estate holdings is an important ethics issue. The Obama administration should immediately release any legal analysis it may have on the constitutionality of payments by foreign governments to the Trump Organization. The media, watchdog groups, and American citizens need to be able to judge for themselves whether the newly elected president is acting constitutionally.”
CfA is nonprofit watchdog organization that uses research, litigation, and aggressive communications to expose misconduct and malfeasance in public life and hold those who act at the expense of the public good accountable for their actions.