Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Poll Analyses
Share on Facebook 19 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
Exclusive to OpEdNews:
OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 1/21/19

Saudi Lobbyists Used U.S. Veterans As Pawns In Trump Hotel Scam

Author 512627
Follow Me on Twitter     Message Ted Millar
Become a Fan
  (2 fans)

(Image by (Not Known) Wikimedia Commons)
  Details   DMCA

The United States Constitution is of course not perfect.

It's full of anachronisms, elitism, and, yes, even racism.

Just look at the "three-fifths" clause contained in Article I, section two, for example.

Look at Article II, section one explaining the electoral college.

And if only more knew about how the Second Amendment got in there...

But within that sacrosanct founding document, there are also testaments to its framers' sagacity and circumspection.

Some might argue the Constitution's emoluments clause, a provision to prevent foreign governments' bribery of federal officials, is hyperbolic.

James Madison et al., however, had enough foresight to imagine a future President of the United States succumbing to a foreign government's graft in an attempt to curry undue favor.

That prediction, as we know, came to fruition on January 20, 2017 with the inauguration of Donald J. Trump.

By now it's no surprise Trump retains ownership of his company as president despite insisting before being elected he was transferring business assets to a blind trust his sons Eric and Donald Jr. would manage to avoid potential conflicts of interests.

That was one of thousands of lies Trump would go on to tell.

Days before an October 2018 New York Times investigation revealed the so-called "self-made billionaire" future president received at least $413 million through his father's real estate empire and evading tax authorities, a Washington, D.C. federal district judge decided that nearly 200 Democratic senators and representatives had legal standing to sue Trump over violations to the emoluments clause.

This was the second time a federal judge allowed such an action to proceed, the first coming the previous April when U.S. District Judge Peter Messitte approved District of Columbia attorney Karl A. Racine and Maryland attorney general Brian E. Frosh's lawsuit against Trump's emoluments clause violations.

Then there was the perfidy surrounding the Trumps' "charitable organization," the Trump Foundation, which led to then-New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood filing a civil lawsuit.

This led directly to New York judge Saliann Scarpulla shutting down the Trump Foundation at the end of last year.

As the Trumps were saying good-bye to their precious charity, though, another layer was unfolding.

As David Fahrenthold and Jonathan O'Connell reported in The Washington Post on December 5, 2018, lobbyists representing the Saudi Arabian government reserved 500 rooms at Trump's D.C. hotel within a month of the 2016 presidential election, for which they paid more than $270,000.

But the rooms weren't for them.

They were for six groups of U.S. military veterans sent to Washington to lobby against a law the Saudis opposed.

Some--perhaps all--of those veterans had no idea that was the case.

Henry Garcia, a San Antonio Navy veteran said:

"It made all the sense in the world when we found out that the Saudis had paid for it."

Garcia claimed to have been tipped off after being told other veterans organized the trip but was then treated to private hotel rooms, open bars, and free dinners, expenditures no other veterans' group he was aware of paid for.

Garcia then concluded:

"We were just used to give Trump money."

According to lobbying disclosure forms, the Washington-based firm Qorvis/MSLGroup that has long represented the Saudi government in the United States paid the "veterans fly-in" trips organizers.

This sheds a little light on why the Trump administration has such a cozy relationship with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The United States' participation in the Saudi Arabia-led intervention in the Syrian civil war has implicated itself in the starvation of 14 million people who have been suffering since the Saudi-led war in Yemen escalated in 2015.

Then there was the brutal death and dismemberment of Saudi journalist and American resident Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey on October 2, for which Donald Trump defended Saudi Arabia.

Using veterans for his own political and economic interests is nothing new to Trump.

Using the country as his personal ATM is something we should never accept.

That's why we have the emoluments clause.


Must Read 1   News 1   Valuable 1  
Rate It | View Ratings

Ted Millar Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Ted Millar is a writer and teacher. His work has been in featured in myriad literary journals, including Straight Forward Poetry, Better Than Starbucks, the Broke Bohemian, Caesura, Circle Show, Cactus Heart, Third Wednesday, and The Voices (more...)

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Follow Me on Twitter     Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

FBI Apprehends Another Trump Supporter Plotting A Massacre

Discovered Documents Reveal Trump Tax and Bank Fraud

Republicans' Stance On HR 1 Confirms They Prefer A Rigged System

Rumors of Trump's Possible Drug Addiction Need to Be Taken Seriously

Bernie is Not a Socialist--He's a Traditional FDR Democrat

The GOP Might Use The Shutdown To Justify 'Starving the Beast'

To View Comments or Join the Conversation: