Jamie Raskin Uses GOP’s Hearing To Go After Trump For Massive Foreign Payments

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During a tense confrontation with House Oversight Committee chairman Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.) this Wednesday at a public hearing, the panel’s top Democrat Rep. Jamie Raskin (Md.) tried to turn attention towards millions of dollars in foreign payments that reportedly were collected by Trump businesses while the former president was in office.

One of the properties raking in the money was the defunct Trump hotel that operated in Washington, D.C., amid the former president’s time in power.

“If you believe that it would have been illegal for Joe Biden to take $5 million from Ukraine — it certainly would have been. What do you think about Donald Trump taking more than $5 million from the Chinese government while he was president?” Raskin asked, referring to that series of payments across various Trump properties.

Comer’s emphatic response was to try and characterize the Trump Organization as reasonably earning that money, in supposed contrast to the Bidens and their imagined income. “We know that Donald Trump had a legitimate business that he talked about, he campaigned on,” Comer retorted, then turning his attention to the Bidens: “What business does Joe Biden’s family own? What business were they in? Did they have hotels? Did they have a social media company? Did they have golf courses? Did they have casinos? Did they have office buildings? What business — did they have an energy company?”

Raskin has previously accused Trump of violating Constitutional law via those payments, which the top Democrat has demanded by rectified by payments of the same amount to the U.S. Treasury. Specifically, there are restrictions in the Constitution on office-holders taking in things of value from foreign sources, and millions of dollars in payments seem to some to fit that bill. There’s no caveat in the Constitution that the process is actually perfectly fine if those involved or on the subject’s side can come up with an excuse that’s good enough.

Republicans have seemed largely insistent on glossing over the Trump family’s income despite trying to make a big deal out of dubiously alleged foreign entanglements among Biden family members.