Fox News legal analyst Andrew Napolitano, who earlier on Thursday expertly debunked Republican talking points about the process of the House of Representatives’ impeachment inquiry, has published an opinion column at Fox News in which he takes President Donald Trump to task for attacking the U.S. Constitution’s emoluments clause.
Napolitano begins by going through the history of the clause and explaining why it was written.
“In order to allay those fears and assure Americans that officials in the new federal government would be immune from foreign seduction, the framers included the Emoluments Clause in the Constitution,” he writes. “That clause prohibits all federal officials from receiving titles of nobility and any gift, income or fee “of any kind whatever” from a foreign government.”
He then turns his attention to the president, who earlier in the week bitterly complained about the “phony emoluments clause” after he was forced to cancel plans to have next year’s G7 summit at one of his own golf courses.
“Whatever Trump meant by phony, it constituted at least a disparagement of the Constitution he has sworn to uphold and at worst a threat to ignore clauses he can disparage,” Napolitano argues. “This is most unusual and potentially dangerous, and it raises the question: Can the president lawfully enforce only the clauses of the Constitution with which he agrees and ignore those with which he disagrees? In a word: No.”