Gnarly Contract Clause

As I’ve said before, if Trump goes down I think it will be over a business conflict too egregious even for Republicans to ignore. Here’s the kind of thing I’m talking about, referring to the new Trump hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C.:

“The Post Office lease differs from many of Trump’s other business arrangements. That’s because, in writing the contract, the federal and D.C. governments determined, in advance, that elected officials could play no role in this lease arrangement. The contract language is clear:

“No … elected official of the Government of the United States … shall be admitted to any share or part of this Lease, or to any benefit that may arise therefrom…”   

The language could not be any more specific or clear. Donald Trump will breach the contract on January 20, when, while continuing to benefit from the lease, he will become an “elected official of the Government of the United States.”

The lease is between the federal government’s General Services Administration — GSA — and the Trump organization, as the old Post Office building that was renovated was a federal structure.

The other issue with conflict of interest and Trump’s business dealings — the Emoluments Clause of the U.S. Constitution — is squishier and harder to understand. This isn’t. It’s a rather clear cut contract matter.

I think Trump is an unmitigated disaster for the country, and I’m not in the camp of “let’s work with him where we can”. I think Democrats should do what Republicans have done for the last eight years, because it clearly served them well: delay, obstruct, distract. There’s no better distraction that to challenge Trump in one of his two core values: increasing his business wealth. I would LOVE to see the GSA move to terminate this lease. I think they are obligated to do so, given the contract language. And I would relish watching the predictable Trump explosion that would follow.

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