Schiff introduces bill to require agencies report spending at Trump properties

Schiff introduces bill to require agencies report spending at Trump properties
© Stefani Reynolds

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffDemocrats struggle to keep up with Trump messaging on coronavirus Trump defends firing of intel watchdog, calling him a 'disgrace' Democrats seize on Trump's firing of intelligence community watchdog MORE (D-Calif.) on Monday introduced legislation that would require federal agencies to report their spending at President TrumpDonald John TrumpOvernight Health Care: US hits 10,000 coronavirus deaths | Trump touts 'friendly' talk with Biden on response | Trump dismisses report on hospital shortages as 'just wrong' | Cuomo sees possible signs of curve flattening in NY We need to be 'One America,' the polling says — and the politicians should listen Barr tells prosecutors to consider coronavirus risk when determining bail: report MORE's businesses.

Schiff's bill would not prohibit federal spending at Trump properties, but mandates that agencies submit a report to the Office of Government Ethics detailing any official expenses at companies owned by Trump. The report would have to be made public within 10 days.

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Democrats had already been investigating whether Trump has been violating the Constitution's Emoluments Clause, which prohibits presidents from accepting money or gifts outside their official salary.

“This president has profited off of the presidency in an unprecedented way,” Schiff said in a statement. “Each time President Trump, accompanied by Secret Service agents, White House staff and other federal officials, makes an official visit to one of his properties, the Trump Organization profits."

The legislation's introduction comes as Democrats are under increasing pressure to move ahead with impeaching Trump in light of a recent intelligence community whistleblower complaint against the president. Trump acknowledged Sunday that he raised corruption accusations against former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenOvernight Health Care: US hits 10,000 coronavirus deaths | Trump touts 'friendly' talk with Biden on response | Trump dismisses report on hospital shortages as 'just wrong' | Cuomo sees possible signs of curve flattening in NY We need to be 'One America,' the polling says — and the politicians should listen 16 things to know today about coronavirus MORE during a phone call with Ukraine's leader.

The House Judiciary Committee announced last month that it would broaden its investigation into Trump by looking into his proposal to hold the 2020 Group of Seven (G-7) summit at his Doral resort in Florida.

Also last month, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot EngelEliot Lance EngelHillicon Valley: Facebook reports huge spike in usage during pandemic | Democrats push for mail-in voting funds in coronavirus stimulus | Trump delays deadline to acquire REAL ID Lawmakers urge EU to sanction Putin associate for election interference Democrats press Pompeo to help Americans stranded abroad amid coronavirus MORE (D-N.Y.) instructed his panel's staff to warn foreign governments that spending money at Trump-owned properties may be a violation of the Constitution's Emoluments Clause.

Trump handed off daily operations to his two adult sons, Donald Trump Jr.Donald (Don) John TrumpTwitter says coronavirus disinformation spread by Chinese officials does not violate rules Former lawyer for trophy hunting group joins Trump administration A rarely used fine could limit the spread of the coronavirus to the United States MORE and Eric TrumpEric Frederick TrumpTrump company seeking to delay some payments amid coronavirus: report Trump Jr. challenges Hunter Biden to debate him over who has benefited most off their fathers' time in office Warren makes surprise appearance on 'Saturday Night Live' after dropping out of 2020 race MORE, upon becoming president, but retains ownership of his businesses.

A June report by The Washington Post showed that Trump's trips to his properties since becoming president have brought his businesses at least $1.6 million from the federal government and GOP campaigns. But that estimate is likely much higher by now, given that the records at the time dated to only the first half of 2017.

House Democrats have also passed multiple government spending bills this year with provisions to ban federal spending at Trump-owned properties all around the world. Those provisions are unlikely to become law, however, given probable GOP opposition in the Senate.

Trump insisted that he was not trying to boost his own business by suggesting his Doral resort as the next location for the G-7 summit.

"With Doral, we have a series of magnificent buildings, we call them bungalows, they each hold from 50 to 70 very luxurious rooms with magnificent views. We have incredible conference rooms, incredible restaurants, it's like, such a natural," Trump said. "Each country can have their own villa or their own bungalow, and they have a lot of units in them, so I think it just works out well."