Democrats on a mission to take down Donald Trump have a hot new lead: Mike Pence’s stay at a Trump hotel in Ireland.
Newsweek reports that the House Oversight and Judiciary Committees sent letters to Trump administration officials last week after Pence stayed at a Trump golf resort nearly 200 miles away from meetings with Irish officials. The Democrats are have long looked to charge Trump officials with violating the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution, which prohibits sitting presidents from profiting off business with foreign governments.
Of course, Mike Pence may not have been expecting a government investigation when he checked in to the Trump International Gold Club in Doonbeg, Ireland last week, but House Democrats are now seeking more information after Pence’s chief of staff, Marc Short, said that Pence went there on a “suggestion” from Donald Trump.
Short later walked back the “suggestion” comment, but that hasn’t stopped calls for an investigation from Democrats, including Reps. Elijah Cummings (MD) and Jerry Nadler (NY), chairs of the Reform and Judiciary panels, respectively.
In a letter to White House counsel Pat Cipollone and Secret Service Director James Murray on Thursday, Nadler’s panel warned that Pence’s trip could be of “significant interest” as the committee continues to chatter about whether to impeach Trump. Nadler also cited Trump’s recent suggestion to host the next G-7 summit at his Doral, Florida properties as a potential violation that is “of grave concern.”
“The Doral and Doonbeg cases are just two of the many examples of the solicitation or receipt of foreign government spending to the benefit of the President’s private financial interests,” Nadler wrote.
For his part, Cummings also sent off letters to Short, Murray, White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, and Trump Organization chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg late Thursday asking for a break-down of the costs of Pence’s stay. Both men have given the Trump administration a seemingly arbitrary deadline of Sept. 19 to explain the caper, according to The Washington Examiner.
“The Committee is seeking information about Vice President Mike Pence’s stay earlier this week at the Trump International Golf Links and Hotel in Doonbeg, Ireland — 180 miles away from the Vice President’s official meetings with Irish officials in Dublin,” Cummings wrote. “The Committee does not believe that U.S. taxpayer funds should be used to personally enrich President Trump, his family, and his companies.”
For his part, Pence said that he has family ties to the town and that it was a “logical” choice, but beneath this seemingly innocuous explanation lies yet another conspiracy for House Democrats still searching for fresh sources of dopamine after falling off the Russia collusion delusion train. A source close to Trump dismissed the latest allegations as just another desperate attempt at diversion by Democratic leaders.
“In the middle of a hurricane, an opioid epidemic, and a border crisis, the fact that the Democrats at two of the most powerful committees in the House are focused on the vice president’s accommodations has left us all flabbergasted,” a source familiar with the matter told Fox News. “I would love to know what their constituents think of this.”
The Trump administration has consistently denied charges of Emoluments Clause violations — along with other allegations of wrongdoing by House Democrats — as bad-faith “presidential harassment.”
Meanwhile, Senate Democrats like Elizabeth Warren (MA) and Gary Peters (MI), the Democrats’ ranking member on the Senate Homeland Security panel, have joined the House’s search, according to The Hill, with Peters asking Pence for a cost break-down compared with similar hotels in the region.
Indeed, while Americans deal with mass shootings, a hurricane, an unsecured border, and foreign wars that are still claiming American lives, House Democrats are chasing down hotel receipts — not in Russia now, but in Ireland. Perhaps the Russia conspiracy they were seeking all along lies at the bottom of an empty bottle of Guinness.
Or maybe they’re just desperate. Is this what Democrats get paid to do?