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Trump's Emoluments Mess

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The first is through the federal courts. A lawsuit brought by the attorneys general of Maryland and the District of Columbia accuses Trump of violating the Constitution by holding a financial interest in the Washington hotel.

Another brought by several plaintiffs allege that Trump's businesses pose unfair competition.

A third lawsuit by 215 Democratic members of Congress seeks "the opportunity to cast a binding vote" on the issue, since the Constitution requires the president to obtain "the consent of Congress" before accepting any emolument.

But all these cases are moving through the courts at a slow pace -- probably too slowly to stop Trump from lining his pockets this term of office.

The second way to hold Trump accountable is through impeachment, which has already begun in the House.

Trump's violation of the emoluments clause should be added to the likely grounds for impeachment already being investigated, seeking the help of a foreign power in an election, and obstruction of justice.

The third and most important way to hold Trump accountable occurs November 3, 2020.

That's when the American public can stop Trump from making money off his presidency by voting him out of office.

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Robert Reich, former U.S. Secretary of Labor and Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley, has a new film, "Inequality for All," to be released September 27. He blogs at www.robertreich.org.

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