Critics of the president decried the proposal as a blatant conflict of interest because his business would profit off his presidency.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.), who leads the subcommittee that oversees constitutional violations, said that requiring foreign leaders to pay to stay at a Trump-owned property would be a direct violation of the Constitution’s emoluments clause.
“The Constitution demands that President Trump’s private interests and official conduct remain separate, and this latest announcement demands scrutiny by Congress,” Nadler and Cohen said in a statement. “The House Judiciary Committee is examining allegations of obstruction of justice, public corruption, and other abuses of power by the President as part of its impeachment investigation.”
White House spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham said Tuesday that Doral is among several sites being considered.
For global summits held in the United States, the State Department typically pays for foreign leaders’ accommodations, but the foreign governments pay for their staff.
Nadler’s committee is in the midst of many investigations into Trump’s actions that the Democrat says will inform whether to launch a formal impeachment inquiry. At least 134 House Democrats favor launching an impeachment inquiry.
Trump’s possible violations of the emoluments clause, which says a president cannot personally make money off payments from foreign governments, is among the subjects the judiciary panel is examining.
“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,” Nadler and Cohen said. “This week’s revelation about efforts to select the Trump National Doral Miami as the site of the 46th G-7 summit is only the latest in a troubling pattern of corruption and self-dealing by the President.”