Former U.S. President and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at the fall convention of the California Republican Party in Anaheim, California, September 29, 2023.
Mike Blake | Reuters
WASHINGTON — Former President Donald Trump received at least $7.8 million in payments from foreign governments during two of his four years in the White House, according to a report released Thursday by Democrats on the House Oversight Committee.
At least 20 foreign governments made the payments to Trump’s businesses during the two-year period that the committee was able to review. The information in the report was first reported by The New York Times and CNN.
Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., the ranking member on the Oversight Committee, said in a foreword that the payments came from “some of the world’s most unsavory regimes,” with China being the leading spender, paying more than $5.5 million to Trump-owned properties, according to the report. Trump also received payments from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, India and Afghanistan, the report said.
“This is a limited window on a far-broader universe of foreign government spending that took place,” Raskin told reporters Thursday on Capitol Hill.
Ranking member of the House Oversight Committee Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) speaks during a media briefing concerning former President Donald Trump’s business ties with foreign governments, on Capitol Hill January 4, 2024 in Washington, DC.
Drew Angerer | Getty Images
Raskin said in the report that the information demonstrates that Trump violated the Constitution’s foreign emoluments clause, which he said prohibits the president from accepting money payments or gifts “‘of any kind whatever’ from foreign governments and monarchs unless he obtains ‘the Consent of the Congress’ to do so.”
“Yet Donald Trump, while holding the office of president, used his business entities to pocket millions of dollars from foreign states and royalty and never once went to Congress to seek its consent,” Raskin wrote.
Raskin said that the $7.8 million is “almost certainly only a fraction of Trump’s harvest of unlawful foreign state money, but this figure in itself is a scandal and a decisive spur to action.”
The payments were made to properties owned by Trump, according to the report, including his hotels in Washington, D.C., Las Vegas and New York City. The report said “these countries spent — often lavishly — on apartments and hotel stays at Donald Trump’s properties — personally enriching President Trump while he made foreign policy decisions connected to their policy agendas with far-reaching ramifications for the United States.”
A sign depicting a check from the Embassy of the State of Kuwait, is seen at a news conference in Rayburn Building with Reps. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., ranking member of the House Oversight and Accountability Committee, Robert Garcia, D-Calif., and Jasmine Crockett, D-Texas, on a report by committee Democrats on a “multi-year investigation into payments accepted by former President Trump’s businesses from foreign governments during his term in office, in violation of the Constitution,” on Thursday, January 4, 2024.
Tom Williams | Cq-roll Call, Inc. | Getty Images
Documents provided to the committee showed, for instance, that Saudi Arabia and its royal family spent at least $615,400 at Trump properties during his administration, the report said. It noted that while Saudi Arabia did this, Trump signed an arms deal with the government worth more than $100 billion in 2017.
The information contained in the committee report stems from documents from Mazars, Trump’s former accounting firm, which took Democrats years of litigation to obtain.
Trump’s 2024 presidential campaign did not immediately return a request for comment.