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Trump receives substantial payments during presidency, with China leading way

Trump receives substantial payments during presidency, with China leading way Donald Trump (Photo: Getty Images)
Author: Daria Shekina

Former U.S. President Donald Trump received approximately $7.8 million from foreign organizations across 20 countries. This could potentially violate the constitutional ban on receiving funding from foreign governments, according to The Washington Post.

According to the report, such payments violated the Constitution's provisions on foreign emoluments. It prohibits federal officials, including the president, from accepting money or gifts from foreign governments without Congress's approval.

This provision became pivotal during prolonged legal debates when Democrats controlled the House and sought access to Trump's financial records. Eventually, the issue reached the Supreme Court, but a final decision on whether Trump unlawfully profited from his presidency has not been made.

However, in 2021, judges stated that the cases were moot since Trump was no longer in office.

"These payments were made while these governments were promoting specific foreign policy goals with the Trump Administration and even, at times, with President Trump himself, and as they were requesting specific actions from the United States to advance their own national policy objectives," the 155-page report released on Thursday stated.

According to available information, China made the largest overall payments - $5.5 million to Trump's private business. In particular, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), one of China's largest state-owned banks, leased offices in Trump Tower during Trump's presidency.

During Trump's first year in the White House, several Chinese banks, including ICBC, drew scrutiny due to financial ties with North Korea, leading the administration to impose sanctions on them.

Despite calls from members of his own party to exert maximum pressure on these banks to stop North Korea's nuclear program, "then-President Trump and his Administration did not take any formal action against Trump Tower tenant ICBC."

Trump may be barred from participating in U.S. presidential primaries
On December 28, Maine's chief election officer, Shenna Bellows, excluded Trump from the ballot for the 2024 elections. The decision was based on the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which prohibits participation in elections by organizers and participants of an insurrection, which the court recognized as the storming of the Capitol by Trump supporters on January 6, 2021.

On December 20, the Colorado Supreme Court also prohibited Trump from participating in primaries within the state due to the 14th Amendment. Trump's team appealed this decision to the U.S. Supreme Court. The hearing on the complaint is scheduled for January 4, 2024. The court's decision is likely to be applied nationwide.

Trump denies any wrongdoing related to the Capitol riot and considers the legal claims unfounded.