Skip to content

House Democratic report highlights Trump foreign payments

Finds his businesses got at least $7.8 million in foreign payments from at least 20 countries during presidency

From left, Reps. Robert Garcia, Jamie Raskin and Jasmine Crockett conduct a news conference Thursday on a report by House Oversight and Accountability Democrats on a “multi-year investigation into payments accepted by former President Trump’s businesses from foreign governments during his term in office, in violation of the Constitution.”
From left, Reps. Robert Garcia, Jamie Raskin and Jasmine Crockett conduct a news conference Thursday on a report by House Oversight and Accountability Democrats on a “multi-year investigation into payments accepted by former President Trump’s businesses from foreign governments during his term in office, in violation of the Constitution.” (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Donald Trump’s businesses took in at least $7.8 million in foreign payments from at least 20 countries during his administration in violation of the Constitution, a new House Democratic staff report released Thursday states.

The House Oversight and Accountability Committee staff report, the result of a multiyear investigation, argues that Trump ignored the Foreign Emoluments Clause, which prohibits the president from accepting money payments or gifts from foreign governments and monarchs, unless they get Congress’ approval.

Plus, payments took place as the governments were encouraging foreign policy goals with the administration, sometimes with then-President Trump himself, according to the report.

“These countries spent — often lavishly — on apartments and hotel stays at Donald Trump’s properties — personally enriching President Trump while he made foreign policy decisions connected to their policy agendas with far-reaching ramifications for the United States,” the report states.

Congressional Democrats could use the findings as they seek to defend against a Republican-backed impeachment inquiry against President Joe Biden, an investigation that focuses on the foreign business dealings of Hunter Biden, the president’s son. Trump also remains the front-runner for the Republican nomination for president in the 2024 election that appears likely to be a rematch against Biden, and the former president has criticized the younger Biden’s overseas business dealings.

Rep. Robert Garcia, D-Calif., said at a news conference Thursday that the $7.8 million was a significant amount of money but only a small window into the amount that the Trump family likely received. “What we have is a fraction of what is likely an enormous amount of grift and violation of the Constitution, and so I think that’s really important to note,” Garcia said.

Maryland Rep. Jamie Raskin, the top Democrat on the Oversight and Accountability Committee, wrote in a forward to the report that Trump, while in office, utilized his business entities to take in millions of dollars from foreign states and royalty and “never once went to Congress to seek its consent.”

“This report sets forth the records showing foreign government money — and all the spoils from royals we can find — pouring into hotels and buildings that the President continued to own during his presidency, all in direct violation of the Constitutional prohibition,” Raskin wrote.

The report says that payments from foreign governments, and entities owned or controlled by a foreign government, went to properties that were owned by the former president. Among the properties listed in the report was the Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue in New York City.

Committee Democrats say they have identified $5.5 million that the Chinese government and “companies owned and/or substantially controlled” by the government spent at Trump-owned properties during his administration. Also during that time, Saudi Arabia and the nation’s royal family spent at least $615,422 at Trump properties, according to the report.

The overall foreign payments outlined in the report are likely “only a small fraction” of the total Trump received during his administration, the staff report states.

In a statement, House Oversight Chairman James R. Comer, R-Ky., said Trump has “legitimate businesses” while the Bidens do not. He stated that the Bidens and their associates made money “by cashing in on the Biden name in China, Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Romania.”

“No goods or services were provided other than access to Joe Biden and the Biden network,” Comer said.

Trump faced several lawsuits during his presidency over allegations he violated the Constitution by profiting off the office. The Supreme Court threw out two such cases as moot once Trump left office.

Recent Stories

Capitol Police hires prosecutor to tackle lawmaker threats

The number Haley, Trump need to worry about heading into Super Tuesday

Biden cracks down on personal data sales to China, Russia

Senate Judiciary panel to hear about federal inmate deaths

It’s still a Biden referendum. That’s not good for him

Biden, leaders optimistic about avoiding shutdown, press Johnson on Ukraine