‘Bribery’ of a President and the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution

The Bible is the most astounding, incredible book in the history of the human race. This amazing book was the first book ever printed, it has been published in more editions, printed in more versions, translated into more languages, distributed in more copies, than any other book in the history of the world without even a close second. It is the most popular book ever published year after year. And although the New York Times fake news won’t tell you, it is the runaway best seller of all time. Do you know how many copies of the Bible have been printed and distributed? Well over 9 billion! More than one for every single person alive today. It has been translated into more than 2000 languages and dialects.

There are many people have no idea how remarkable the Bible is, how truly astonishing a book this is.

Furthermore the Bible applies to all significant issues in this life. Open the newspaper and the Bible applies and speaks to the issues of the day. I was reminded of one of those issues in this week’s news regarding the lawsuit against President Trump. The suit claims he has or will violate the Emoluments clause of the Constitution. What this deals with is the commandment in the Bible for government officials to take no bribes. Exodus 23:8 “And you shall take no bribe, for a bribe blinds the discerning and perverts the words of the righteous.” Matthew Henry comments, “Here are Cautions concerning judicial proceedings; it was not enough that they had good laws, better than ever any nation had, but care must be taken for the due administration of justice according to those laws…They must not take bribes, They must not only not be swayed by a gift to give an unjust judgment, to condemn the innocent, or acquit the guilty, or adjudge a man’s right from him, but they must not so much as take a gift, lest it should have a bad influence upon them, and overrule them, contrary to their intentions; for it has a strange tendency to blind those that otherwise would do well.”

Consider the lawsuit against President Trump. It claims that the President is in violation because his corporation might profit if a foreign government rents rooms at the corporation’s hotel. First of all the Constitution is to always be interpreted accorded to the meaning it had when it was ratified by the States. At that point in time private corporations did not exist, so to interpret it as if corporations did exist is a false argument.

Furthermore even if that was a proper interpretation how can you determine if there is actually a profit when the hotel is not owned completely by the President? What if the hotel had so many empty rooms that particular night that the hotel actually lost money on that day? Or should it be based on whether they made a profit that week, or that month, or that year? And furthermore this is only one corporation the President owns a part of. What if in the overall accounting of all he owns he took a loss for that year? Does that mean he did or did not profit?

But the most critical flaw in the case is that a corporation is not an office holder, Donald Trump is not his corporation. A corporation is legal fiction not an actual person. He is not his corporation, and his corporation does not hold the office of President.

Woodrow Wilcox


And one other problem is this, who would have standing in this case? To have standing one must show that they have been injured. Certainly those who are bringing this law suit have not been personally damaged. This whole effort appears to be a slick attempt to attack the President based on a groundless legal theory for blatantly political purposes. I pray the court not only throws it out but fines those who brought the case for filing a frivolous law suit.

One thing is clear, the Word of God speaks to this issue, the issue of bribery, and we should be on guard against bribery in every form. I wonder if perhaps the pay to play of the Clinton Foundation should be investigated and the former Secretary of State put in the dock for violating the Emoluments clause of the Constitution.



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Rev. David Whitney has been teaching the Christian heritage and history of our country with Institute on the Constitution for over a decade where he serves as Senior Instructor, and Radio show host on Dr. Stan Monteith’s Radio Liberty. Whitney is an Honors Scholar graduate from Rutgers University with a Masters Degree from Denver Seminary. A minister for 32 years, he is currently the Pastor of Cornerstone Evangelical Free Church of Pasadena, Maryland. As a member of the clergy, an activist and radio personality, Whitney has appeared in Washington Times, on Voice of America, Fox, ABC, NBC, CSPAN, BBC, and more.
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