Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee slammed President Donald Trump’s push to host the G-7 summit next year at his Doral resort in Miami, deriding the move as “only the latest in a troubling pattern of corruption and self-dealing” by the president and pledging to consider it as part of their impeachment investigation.
Though Trump has not said that the decision is final, Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.), who leads the committee’s panel on the Constitution, said in a statement Wednesday that selecting Doral as the host of the next summit would be a potential violation of both the Foreign and Domestic Emoluments clauses in the Constitution, aimed at barring presidents from taking outside gifts.
Story Continued Below
“More importantly, the Doral decision reflects perhaps the first publicly known instance in which foreign governments would be required to pay President Trump’s private businesses in order to conduct business with the United States,” the pair said, pledging to schedule a hearing on the issue next month.
Nadler and Cohen said that Trump’s comments this week prove the president’s “personal financial interests are clearly shaping decisions about official U.S. government activities,” concluding that “this is precisely the type of risk that the Constitution’s Emoluments Clauses were intended to prevent.”
They added that they would take note of Trump’s efforts to hold the G-7 in Doral as part of their impeachment investigation, saying that a potential breach of the Emoluments Clause would be of “significant interest and grave concern” to the panel.
Several media outlets reported earlier this summer that the president was eyeing the Miami-area resort to host world leaders and their entourages, and Trump publicly leaned into the idea in appearances at the recent summit in the south of France.
He told reporters in a news conference Monday that he liked Doral because of its proximity to the Miami airport, explaining that advisers had considered a dozen sites, before launching into a short sales pitch for the property that was carried live on national television.
“With Doral, we have a series of magnificent buildings, we call them bungalows, they each hold from 50 to 70 very luxurious rooms with magnificent views. we have incredible conference rooms, incredible restaurants, it’s like such a natural,” Trump argued. “We wouldn’t have to do the work that they’ve done here — and they’ve really done a beautiful job. And what we have also is Miami and we have many hundreds of acres so that in terms of parking, in terms of all of the things that you need, the ballrooms are among the biggest in Florida and the best, it’s brand new. And they want — my people wanted it.”
During a bilateral meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel earlier in the day, the president told reporters his team hadn’t found “found anything that’s even close to competing with” Doral.
Though the president claimed he would not be profiting from such an event, he has not divested from the Trump Organization and its vast real estate holdings. What’s more, he travels to his properties often, visits that have brought in at least $1.6 million in revenue, according to an analysis from The Washington Post earlier this summer. The Post reported that even Trump’s own aides have cautioned against hosting official events at his properties, warnings Trump has ignored.