Yes, Trump Can Accept Gifts
Opinion Editorial, Yes, Trump Can Accept Gifts, NY TIMES, July 13, 2017
2 Pages Posted: 20 Jul 2017 Last revised: 12 Aug 2019
Date Written: July 13, 2017
On Friday, President Trump will celebrate Bastille Day in Paris to reaffirm “America’s strong ties of friendship with France.” More than two centuries ago, the storming of the Bastille was commemorated when the Marquis de Lafayette, then a French government official, gave President George Washington the main key to the demolished fortress — a gift Washington kept without asking for Congress’s permission. Indeed, other early presidents followed this tradition of accepting gifts from other nations without ever seeking congressional consent.
This practice is one that Mr. Trump’s legal adversaries ignore as they attempt to redefine the meaning of the Constitution’s Foreign Emoluments Clause. Federal courts should not allow them to create a new legal restriction on the president’s conduct.
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