The Trump Organization won't track foreign money because it's "impractical"

The Ranking Member of the House Oversight Committee is appalled at the Trump Organization

By Matthew Rozsa

Published May 24, 2017 2:02PM (EDT)

(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File) (AP)
(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File) (AP)

There is no way of knowing whether President Donald Trump is upholding his promise to donate all foreign profits earned by the Trump Organization back to the American treasury.

Why? Because the Trump Organization isn't keeping track of them.

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In response to a request by the House Oversight Committee for documents, the Trump Organization provided a pamphlet which argues that "to fully and completely identify all patronage at our Properties by customer type is impractical in the service industry and putting forth a policy that requires all guests to identify themselves would impede upon personal privacy and diminish the guest experience of our brand."

The pamphlet also argued that "it is not the intention nor design of this policy for our properties to attempt to identify individual travelers who have not specifically identified themselves as being a representative of a foreign government entity on foreign government business."

Democratic Rep. Elijah E. Cummings of Maryland, who is the Ranking Member of the House Oversight Committee, blasted the response in a letter to George A. Sorial, the Executive Vice President and Chief Compliance Counsel for The Trump Organization.

"This pamphlet raises grave concerns about the President’s refusal to comply with the Constitution merely because he believes it is 'impractical' and could 'diminish the guest experience of our brand,'" Cummings wrote. "Complying with the United States Constitution is not an optional exercise, but a requirement for serving as our nation's president."

Cummings adds that if Trump truly believes that it would be too difficult to identify any foreign emoluments received by his business empire — which he is arguably prohibited from profiting off of in accordance with the emoluments clause — then he should "divest his ownership or submit a proposal to Congress to ask for our consent."

Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

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Conflict Of Interest Donald Trump Elijah Cummings House Oversight Committee Partner Video