What is an emolument and why do we care?

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tags: election 2016, Trump, emoluments



President-elect Donald J. Trump might have some unique decisions to make about how his business assets are managed as he serves in the White House, thanks to an obscure constitutional clause.

Article I, Section 9, of the Constitution contains what is known as the Foreign Emoluments Clause, which reads, “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.”

An emolument is defined by Merriam-Webster as “the returns arising from office or employment usually in the form of compensation or perquisites.” On Tuesday, the New York Times’ Adam Liptak wrote about a possible debate about how the clause needs to be evaluated as it applies to Trump’s business holdings. (Editor’s note: the newspaper and President-elect Trump are involved in an on-going dispute about its coverage of the former presidential candidate.)




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