Democrats are planning to investigate President Donald Trump’s proposal to host next year’s G-7 summit at Trump National Doral Miami, arguing that his latest comments show that his personal financial interests are shaping his decisions as president.
The House Judiciary Committee said Wednesday that it will hold hearings next month and request additional documents from the White House to justify why the president wants to hold a high-profile gathering of world leaders at his Doral golf resort that reported lower profit margins in the past year.
“This week’s revelation about efforts to select the Trump National Doral Miami as the site of the 46th G7 summit is only the latest in a troubling pattern of corruption and self-dealing by the President,” Judiciary Committee chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-New York, and Constitutional, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties chairman Steve Cohen, D-Tennessee, said in a joint statement.
The pair raised concerns that Trump could be violating the U.S. Constitution by hosting a summit for foreign governments at a property he owns. Trump’s sons Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump are responsible for running the Trump Organization, which owns Doral, while Trump is president.
“Hosting the G7 Summit at Doral implicates both the Foreign and Domestic Emoluments Clauses, because it would entail both foreign and U.S. government spending to benefit the president, the latter potentially including both federal and state expenditures,” Cohen and Nadler said. “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.”
Trump said he has not made a final decision on the location for the 2020 G-7 Summit, which the United States will host. There have been reports over the past three months that Trump wanted to host the event at his Miami-Dade County resort, which he confirmed during a news conference at the 2019 G-7 Summit in France on Monday.
“Doral happens to be ... only five minutes from the airport, the airport’s right next door,” Trump told reporters. “And by the way, my people looked at 12 sites, all good, but some were two hours from the airport, some four hours. We have a series of magnificent buildings, we call them bungalows, they each hold from 50 to 70 rooms, they have magnificent views. And what we have also is Miami.”
The G-7 summit is an annual meeting held by the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Italy and the United Kingdom to discuss world events. Other world leaders typically attend, which means millions are spent on security procedures and logistics.
The House Judiciary Committee is already investigating Trump’s handling of the Russia investigation as Democrats continue to demand an impeachment inquiry related to allegations of obstructing Robert Mueller’s probe. Miami Democratic Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, who is in favor of an impeachment inquiry, serves on the Judiciary Committee.
“Potential violations of the Foreign and Domestic Emoluments Clauses of the Constitution are of significant interest and grave concern to the Committee as it considers whether to recommend articles of impeachment,” Nadler and Cohen said. “The Committee will broaden its ongoing investigation to include these latest revelations and will take further investigative steps, including scheduling hearings and requesting additional documents from the White House.”