Grassley hits “partisan” lawsuits against Trump, says Hillary should be sued as well

The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee said Wednesday that “partisan” lawsuits against President Donald J. Trump over alleged violations of the Constitution’s Emoluments Clause need to file similar suits against former secretary of state and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton as well.

As reported by Circa, Grassley suggested that Clinton may also be guilty of violating the same clause — perhaps even more so — when she was serving as head of the State Department, calling the lawsuits “partisan and narrow” in their scope (See “The Hillary Files” from – PDF file)

Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, was directing his comments at plaintiffs in a trio of suits charging that Trump is violating Article I of the Constitution, which states “no person holding any office of profit or trust under [the United States], shall, without the consent of Congress, accept of any present, emolument, office, or title, of any kind whatever, from any king, prince, or foreign state.”

The Judiciary chairman noted that millions of dollars in foreign contributions were given to the Clinton Family Foundation while Hillary was head of Foggy Bottom, as did her husband, ex-President Bill Clinton, who was paid by foreign governments and business interests for speeches and appearances.

Grassley suggested that Congress should consider “whether legislation may be necessary to force agencies to remedies when the Clause is violated.”

He sent letters to several plaintiffs this week, including Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW); Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich; and Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn.; and Washington, D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine, a Democrat, and Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh, also a Democrats.

“The Office of Government Ethics has held in its advisory opinions that [employees who prepare joint tax returns with their spouses] would be considered to have derived financial or economic benefit from their spouses’ assets,” Grassley wrote. “They would also be charged with knowledge of their spouses’ assets. Since Secretary Clinton filed joint tax returns with her husband, she received a direct financial and economic benefit from his income.

“Accordingly, based on the scope of the Clause outlined in your complaint, Secretary Clinton appears to have received emoluments that were not validated by congressional consent,” he added.

In their suit against Trump Racine and Frosh argue that “because the Founders believed that corruption was one of the gravest threats to the new nation, they viewed anti-corruption measures as essential to preserving an enduring republican system of government.”

However, Grassley pointed out that the litigants were being extremely partisan, cherry-picking alleged ‘violations’ of the Constitution while blatantly ignoring others because they involve fellow Democratic politicians. He said there are “multiple examples of potential corruption between Clinton Foundation donors — both foreign and domestic — and the State Department during Secretary Clinton’s tenure.” (Related: Are Democrats behind the dubious Trump dossier that has triggered so many ‘Russia’ investigations?)

Continuing, Grassley recounted that in August 2016 he “noted that foreign governments donated heavily to the Clinton Foundation while simultaneous lobbying the State Department.”

Critics of Clinton and her family foundation’s acceptance of tens of millions of dollars from foreign donors allege that governments were attempting to buy influence with her on the assumption that she, and not Donald J. Trump, would win the presidential election last November.

“The Clause must be enforced impartially, without regard for power, privilege, or party,” he said, as reported by Circa. “Selective efforts to enforce the Clause smack of partisan political bias. A fair examination of Secretary Clinton’s financial benefits from foreign government entities and instrumentalities, by your reasoning, plainly shows that those benefits implicate the Clause. Yet your complaint[s] raised none of these concerns.”

He said if Trump is guilty then so is the former secretary of state, noting that in June 2010, Hillary Clinton received $500,000 from “Renaissance Capital jointly with her husband” for a speech Bill Clinton gave in Moscow. The financial firm is a Russian investment bank whose senior officers include former Russian intelligence officials.

J.D. Heyes is a senior writer for and, as well as editor of The National Sentinel.

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