About 24 hours ago, the White House announced that in June of 2020 President Donald Trump would be hosting the Group of Seven (G7) at his Trump National Doral Miami resort. It is something President Trump hinted about doing in France this past summer and now despite the controversy that it would be a bad idea to hold such a high profile event at a property owned by Trump it going to happen.
The G-7 summit will draw to Miami thousands of foreign government officials from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United Kingdom, among other invited countries, as well as the international press. So, it clearly is a big get for Doral which has never hosted an event even close to this size.
Like President Trump or don’t like President Trump there is no way his company does not benefit from hosting an international event the size and scope of the G 7. It is a direct violation of Article 1, Section 9 of the U.S. Constitution according to my copy of Barron’s Legal Guides Law Dictionary defines an emolument as “profit derived from office, employment, or labor, including salary, wages, fees, rank and other compensation. ”
So why is holding the G 7 meeting at the Trump National Doral Miami a violation of the Emoluments Clause? Well, leaders from around the world will have to pay to stay and work at a property owned by President Trump in order to conduct business with the United States and that my friends is against the law.
White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney who made the formal announcement went out of his way to say the president will not profit from the G-7 being held at Doral, stating the resort will host the event “at cost” to the attendees. Mulvaney, who also serves as director of the Office of Management and Budget, declined to provide cost figures on just exactly how taxpayers will save money.
Let’s be clear a major international meeting the size and scope of the G7 is a boost to The Doral which has seen its revenue plunge in the past several years as Trump has been in office. The Washington Post published and it was confirmed by President Trump’s own tax filings it was reported in May that from 2015 to 2017, revenue at Doral dropped 18%, from $92 million to $75 million, and that net operating income fell from $13.8 million to $4.3 million during the same time period.
Those numbers square with the numbers reported as well by the Miami Herald through the Dade County property tax offices.
This is not about profit it is about the marketing dollars, the prestigious stature of the event and even if on the off chance that Doral would lose money here the United States is hosting the G 7 at a resort with the presidents’ name on it.
Never has that happened before and even as though President Trump is to say the least unique it should not happen now. There were ten other resorts on the list and any of them would have been a safer, wiser and more politically wise choice to President Trump.
By the way, the last time the G 7 was hosted by the United States it was President Barak Obama in charge. The event took place at Camp David and that was in the fall of 2012.
For the record, the United States owns Camp David and President Trump had he chosen that venue, still could have hosted events at his golf course in Virginia and had deligations stay at his hotel in Washington. But this was a very poor choice and one that breaks the law.