At least seven foreign governments got the green light from the State Department to rent luxury units in Trump World Tower in Manhattan after the president’s inauguration and without approval from Congress, according to documents reviewed by Reuters.
The revelation raises more questions about President Trump’s relationship with the Constitution’s emoluments clause, which forbids a president from receiving gifts and other payments from foreign states. The governments of Iraq, Kuwait, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, Thailand and the European Union all signed leases with Trump World Tower, which Trump owns, after the president’s inauguration in January 2017, according to the report.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, a Democrat who chairs the House Oversight Committee, told Reuters that their findings raise “serious questions” about the president’s businesses. Trump refused to divest from his businesses after he was elected president, so he’s indisputably profiting from foreign nationals.
“This new information raises serious questions about the President and his businesses’ potential receipt of payments from foreign governments,” Cummings said in a statement to Reuters. “The American public deserves full transparency.”
“The American public deserves full transparency.”
The 90-story Trump World Tower, located in Manhattan near the United Nations headquarters, is not the famous Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue, where Trump himself has a residence and where the infamous June 2016 campaign meeting with Russians happened.
This week, a federal judge ruled that Congress was allowed to sue Trump over his business dealings because the president’s narrow definition of an emolument was “unpersuasive and inconsistent.” Trump was attempting to get out of a lawsuit filed against him by 200 Democrats in Congress. Those 200 Democrats claim that Trump is violating the emoluments clause.
Cover: The Trump World Tower in New York City. It is one of the highest and most expensive residential houses in the world and located on First Avenue between the 47th and 48th streets of Manhattan. First Ave, Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA Date: Septemb | usage worldwide Photo by: Klaus Nowottnick/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images
This article originally appeared on VICE News US.