Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) on Sunday accused former President Trump of trying to convert the White House into a “moneymaking enterprise” in response to House Democrats finding Trump took nearly $8 million from foreign governments while president.
“So Donald Trump did something nobody had ever done before. He tried to convert the presidency into a moneymaking enterprise,” he said on MSNBC’s “The Weekend.”
Raskin, the top Democrat on the House Oversight and Accountability Committee, said he has not yet gotten a response from Trump or his legal team, after sending the former president a letter on Friday demanding that he return the roughly $7.8 million he received from foreign governments while president.
Raskin’s letter comes after Democrats on the House Oversight Committee published a report claiming Trump’s companies accepted money from foreign entities in 20 countries and said those payments violate the Emolument Clause of the Constitution.
Of the total amount, about $5.6 million came from China and went to Trump’s hotels in Washington and Las Vegas, the report alleges, as well as Trump Tower in New York.
Raskin has stressed that the $7.8 million figure is only a fraction of what he claims the former President most likely received while in office. Raskin has accused the committee’s chair, Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.), of stifling the investigation when he took the top spot.
“The Constitution says that the president or any other federal official cannot accept a present and emolument, which means a payment, in office or title of any kind, whatever, that’s in the Constitution, from a king, a prince, a foreign government without the consent of Congress,” Raskin said on Sunday. “Donald Trump came to Congress zero times to asked to keep this money.”
Raskin pushed back against the argument that Trump did not take his federal salary of $400,000 a year.
“You’re not supposed to be on the payroll for Saudi monarchs and Chinese communist bureaucrats. You’re supposed to be getting paid by the American people,” he said.