House Judiciary Dems want to investigate G7 location proposal

Hearing scheduled for September

By Haley Byrd, CNN
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee said Wednesday that they will investigate President Donald Trump's proposal to hold next year's Group of Seven summit with world leaders at his Trump National Doral resort in Miami.

In a statement, committee Chairman Jerry Nadler of New York and Rep. Steve Cohen of Tennessee, who chairs the Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, said they would schedule a September hearing to examine the plan.

"The President's personal financial interests are clearly shaping decisions about official U.S. government activities, and this is precisely the type of risk that the Constitution's Emoluments Clauses were intended to prevent," the lawmakers wrote. "This week's revelation about efforts to select the Trump National Doral Miami as the site of the 46th G7 summit is only the latest in a troubling pattern of corruption and self-dealing by the President."

Nadler and Cohen said the move would improperly benefit Trump, as foreign governments would have to pay his private business, the resort, in order to participate in the summit.

"The Constitution demands that President Trump's private interests and official conduct remain separate, and this latest announcement demands scrutiny by Congress," they added, promising to look into the matter as part of the Judiciary Committee's ongoing impeachment investigation.

Trump has promoted the idea publicly since the 45th G7 summit ended earlier this week, saying on Monday that his aides "went to places all over the country" before coming back from his Miami resort and telling him, "This is where we'd like it to be."

"It's not about me. It's about getting the right location," he said of choosing the Doral. "I think it's very important."

But the administration has not made a final decision on the location, according to a White House official, and officials are also considering potential sites in several other states, including California, Colorado, Michigan and Hawaii.

Republicans, meanwhile, don't share Democrats' ethical concerns about the prospect. "I'm not sure it's profits-driven," Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida told reporters at the Capitol on Tuesday.

"I think it's a great idea," he added -- although he did raise fears about traffic jams that could result.

CNN's Jim Acosta and Maegan Vazquez contributed to this report.

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