When the people of Minnesota’s 5th congressional district elected Ilhan Omar, did they have any idea what was to come? The first Somali-American to grace the U.S. House as a representative has said many controversial things since her election in 2016. One must wonder if she’s so lost in her hatred for the president that she can no longer see the big picture.
Her tweet on January 6 stated, “Trump needs to immediately divest from his businesses and comply with the emoluments clause. Iran could threaten Trump hotels *worldwide* and he could provoke war over the loss of revenue from skittish guests. His business interests should not be driving military decisions.”
As Robert Spencer of PJ Media aptly queried, is the Minnesota congresswoman offering “unsolicited military advice to the Islamic Republic of Iran,” or is she just your run-of-the-mill traitor? Is this pure stupidity, or is she suggesting future targets for terrorist activities? Perhaps it goes too far to say she has committed treason, but this tweet appears to indicate she has lost all reason. What could be her motivation to conjure up such an idea?
And here we are again, harkening back to the old “emoluments clause” argument.
Emoluments Equal Profit
The word emolument is rooted in Latin and believed to refer to the exchange of money for ground corn. Emolere means to “grind out.” Over the centuries, emoluments have come to denote profit or payment. To put Omar’s tweet in context, it appears she is implying the president’s business holdings are/can/could drive his military decisions.
Is President Trump so broke that he needs to start a war to keep his business afloat? This is a man who doesn’t even cash his presidential paycheck but instead gives it all – yes, 100% – to charity. In referencing the emoluments clause of the Constitution, Omar and many others have taken a section of America’s founding document and used it in a manner that hasn’t heretofore been witnessed.
Constitutional attorney and Liberty Nation Legal Affairs Editor Scott D. Cosenza agrees, observing, “Representative Omar’s interpretation of the emoluments clause(s) and their requirements are not ones that I share and were not popular before Donald Trump’s election.” Cosenza then elaborates on the reason for his opinion:
“The foreign emoluments clause (Article 1, Section 9, Paragraph 8) provides that ‘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.’
What one wonders is why the Constitution’s authors would place a regulation limiting the president in the section of the Constitution that otherwise deals exclusively with the legislative branch. Article 2 deals with the executive and the regulations and limitations on its power, but that section has no convenient clause for novel and anti-Trump emolument interpretations. Article 2 does contain its own emoluments clause. The domestic emoluments clause prohibits the president from receiving any emolument from the federal government or from any state other than the compensation Section 1 provides for service as chief executive. There seems to be no help there for Omar’s assertions.”
Perhaps Omar should be a bit more circumspect about providing military targets to terrorists? This would seem prudent in the current situation regarding Iran, Iraq, and rogue terrorist agencies. Or perhaps it’s time for the people of the 5th district of Minnesota to ask their representative whose side she’s on?
Read more from Leesa K. Donner.