America’s New Vulnerability
By T. Edward Westen
President Trump has played fast and loose with treaties, agreements, trade, and relationships with allies, trade partners and international organizations around the world. He has asserted that treaties, agreements, trade, and relationships with allies, trade partners, and international organizations are “bad deals” made by predecessors in the White House. The empirical evidence and facts do not support his assertions. Regardless, his actions have negative consequences for Americans as well as those nations party to those treaties, trade arrangements, and international organizations with which he unilaterally terminated.
When President Trump assumed office, he did not sell his businesses and put his assets into a blind trust. This opened him to accepting money from his fellow Americans, the United States government, foreigners, foreign governments, and international organizations whenever staying in his properties. By returning monies to the U.S. Treasury for profits his accountants attribute to stays by U.S. government employees, President Trump is attempting to avoid prosecution and impeachment on the charge of violating the emoluments clauses in the U. S. Constitution (Art. I Section 9, Clause 8). But, he is also admitting that he profits when anyone stays in his properties.
Since President Trump is in a position to profit from his business, especially his properties, he is also in a position to incur losses from those properties. Also, since the properties are so dear to him, they represent a way to get President Trump’s attention. President Trump’s properties are America’s newest vulnerability.
I can think of at least a half-a-dozen, legal ways to exploit that vulnerability to get President Trump’s attention by focusing on his properties. But, I am relatively confident all those who have been impacted by his reneging on treaties, agreements and trade have better imaginations than I.
If you are not an American, forward this to your foreign minister. President Trump’s weakness may not be visible to non-Americans. If you are American, get your creative juices flowing.