That was one helluva press conference. Is he going to try to pack White House pressers with his knuckle-draggers and flunkees too? Are they going to stomp their feet and howl every time he gives CNN the ole’ bazoo? We’re only a couple weeks away from seeing the Commander-in-Chief high-fiving Newsmax and Gateway Pundit on his way out the briefing room.
That reminded me of a Soviet press conference. More speakers than questions, more flags than answers.
— Garry Kasparov (@Kasparov63) January 11, 2017
Right. It was half propaganda, half performance. There were a dozen flags hanging perfectly behind him. There were about 50 trumpco related files (…huh?) piled up on a table beside the podium (…ooh – BIG business, very complicated, you’d never understand). There were his sons Eric and Donald Jr. in attendance, the new kingpins of Dad’s corporate operations, to assure everyone they were actual human people and not just Donald disguising his voice over the phone.
And then there was his lawyer Sheri Dillon. A thin-skinned shill, if ever there was one. Donald ceded her center stage so that he could stand aside nodding hmm-good-point while she kindly educated us about our own Constitution.
“Some people want to define emoluments to cover routine business transactions, like paying for hotel rooms. They suggest that the Constitution prohibits the businesses from even arm’s-length transactions at the president-elect has absolutely nothing to do with and isn’t even aware of. These people are wrong,” Dillon claimed.
That was a little bit of a shock. I thought the Emoluments Clause read something like…
No title of nobility shall be granted by the United States: and no person holding any office of profit or trust under them, shall, without the consent of the Congress, accept of any present, emolument, office, or title, of any kind whatever, from any king, prince, or foreign state.
…my bold. But in going back and reading it again, I see it also says:
…except for a tycoon who makes money
1.) at arm’s length, or
2.) has nothing to do with it, or
3.) isn’t even aware of it.
If that’s the case, bro, go for it.
I was pleasantly surprised myself. Not everybody felt the way I did though.
Larry Tribe, a professor of constitutional law at Harvard Law School, told ThinkProgress that the announcement “a totally fraudulent runaround.” Tribe added that the structure was “cleverly designed to dazzle and deceive, but it solves none of the serious ethical or legal issues. And his lawyer would flunk constitutional law at any halfway decent law school.”
I wouldn’t say that we are headed for years of constitutional skirmishes, crises, and clusterfucks.