So, what the heck did Trump do with Taiwan?

He started the process of stealing your democracy. Why? How? Have a look:

I will hold the electors who put his name in the ballot box as equally responsible.

Oh, and by the way, he also did this:

Donald Trump Picks GOP Oil Industry Ally, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, to Lead EPA

More like this

A couple of thoughts.

First, emolument is a salary. So the President's salary cannot be paid by a foreign government. That shouldn't come up.

Second, accepting any present from a foreign government.

Well - the President gets gifts from foreign governments all the time. I think the way they handle this is the gift is received by the office of the President and not the person of the President. So the gift stays behind - say goes to the Presidential library or stays in the White House or something of that nature.

Recently Trump received a $3755 golf club from the Japanese prime minister. If that were to happen after Jan. 20th, that would certainly fall into the clause as a present and he would have to treat the gift as a gift to the office of the President or to the United States and not get to keep the golf club personally after he leaves office.

Now lets consider commerce.

If Trump's business rents a room to a foreign diplomat is that a "present". I would say no.

It is a fair market exchange of business - a room for money - and therefore not a "present".

If the diplomat paid 10 times the asking room rate then it could be considered a "present" - although it is a little fuzzy as to who the present is being made to.

So, when Trump's businesses do business with foreign corporations - there is no problem because there are no "presents" and also it would be rare to be doing business directly with a king, prince or head of state.

Here is a question - is a State dinner a present? All Presidents have attended state dinners (remember Bush throwing up on the Japanese government officials shoe?).

I doubt they are paying for those.

Again - not a "present" which is being kept by the office holder personally after their term of office.

But this is all must my opinion as a lawyer - and this is not my area of law.

To summarize - after Jan. 20th any present of cash, stocks, bonds, real estate etc. would certainly be considered a "present" and then the question would be is it to Trump personally or to the Office of the President.

Business is not a "present".

A lot of gifts are made to the Office and not the person - and then the question would be are they left behind when he leaves office (i.e. the gold putter he might received after Jan. 20th).

Really interesting questions.

I imagine Trump will be subjected to more scrutiny on this issue than any prior president - so I am not worried he will get away with anything.

There will probably be legal opinions drafted by Justice or White House lawyers - so we will see.

Perhaps even some sort of consent will be passed by Congress to clarify some issues?

RickA, are you done defending Mark Steyn? If not, you are going to have a lot more work on your hands.

Australia has the right idea, our head of state is a foreign national. It removes the head of state from the political equation completely.

By Harry Twinotter (not verified) on 07 Dec 2016 #permalink

No - I still chime in when Steyn comes up.

I wish the appeals court would render a decision.

The length of time they have been sitting on this preliminary ruling appeal is ridiculous.

I still think Steyn will win the case - just not sure at what stage he will win.

Did Steyn say something recently?

If so, I haven't seen it.

"I still think Steyn will win the case – just not sure at what stage he will win"

Even the judge in charge of the appeals case to stay or annul doesn't think he will.


I have no idea what you are talking about.

Could you unpack that a little?

Uh, rick, that's what I'm saying: you have no idea what you're talking about.


As everyone knows by now, after two presidential elections where the popular vote was overturned by the constitution's Electoral College, and years of Republican dominance of the Senate, in spite of their smaller numbers in the electorate, due to small conservative states wielding as much power as large progressive states there, we don't live in a democracy. So no, our democracy is not being stolen. We don't live in a democracy.

We have slowly been moving towards living in a democracy for the last couple of hundred years, and Trump will do what he can to roll back those advances, but no, you have to have something before it can be taken away.

By Edgar Carpenter (not verified) on 11 Dec 2016 #permalink

We live under an oligarchy. A plutocracy.

Probably about to become a kleptocracy.

By Brainstorms (not verified) on 11 Dec 2016 #permalink

Rachel Maddow is awesome and thanks for that clip. Some interesting historical info there I didn't know.

Incidentally wikipedia confirms that :

On the last evening of his life he was received into the Catholic Church, though the extent to which he was fully conscious or committed, and with whom the idea originated, is unclear.blockquote>

On the positive side Charles II was a patron of science supporting the Royal Society and founding the Royal Greenwich Observatory. ( Source : )

It seems unlikely Trump's legacy will be anywhere near as good as the "merry monarchs" one especially in that scientific & intellectual regard.

Whilst there's a lot to what Maddow said there & Trump is a huge worry especially with his links - and debts to Russia, I do think ending the 'One-China' policy specifically would be a good thing and that ending the fiction that Taiwan isn't its own independent nation separate from the PRC is desirable. How that's best achieved is of course another question but its a political reality and standing up to the international bullying of the so-called People's Republic of China and for the rights of the Taiwanese people (&, for that matter, the Tibetans too) would be a good thing.

Just as long as it can be done without creating a global military conflict which with Trump in charge is a scarily likely possibility.