Democrats say the payments defied the Constitution's foreign emoluments clause.
Former President Donald Trump's businesses received millions of dollars from foreign entities located in 20 different countries during his presidency, according to a new report released Thursday by Democrats on the House Oversight committee.
The top Democrat on the Oversight Committee, Rep. Jamie Raskin, released the report and provided documents from Trump's former accounting firm that show that 20 governments, including China and Saudi Arabia, paid at least $7.8 million during Trump's presidency to business entities that included Trump International Hotels in Washington, D.C., and Las Vegas, and Trump Towers in New York.
The 156-page report by House Democrats is entitled "White House For Sale."
In the forward to the report, Raskin wrote, "By elevating his personal financial interests and the policy priorities of corrupt foreign powers over the American public interest, former President Trump violated both the clear commands of the Constitution and the careful precedent set and observed by every previous commander in chief."
The reports says that, according to "limited records" obtained by the committee, Saudi Arabia likely paid Trump-owned business at least $615,422 during Trump's first term in office.
"While the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was making these payments, President Trump chose Saudi Arabia as the destination of his first overseas trip -- a choice that was unprecedented among U.S. presidents," the report says.
The report claims that the payments violated the Constitution's foreign emoluments clause, a rule that bars the president and other federal officials from accepting money or gifts from foreign governments without Congressional approval.
"Through entities he owned and controlled, President Trump accepted, at a minimum, millions of dollars in foreign emoluments in violation of the United States Constitution," Democrats write in the report. "The documents obtained from former President Trump's accounting firm demonstrate that four Trump-owned properties together collected, at the least, millions of dollars in payments from foreign governments and officials that violated the Constitution's prohibition on emoluments 'of any kind whatever' from foreign governments."
In a statement to ABC News, Eric Trump, the former president's son who helps run the Trump Organization, said the House Democrats' "narrative is insane," citing profits that Trump voluntary donated to the Treasury Department to offset his business earnings from foreign entities.
"We do not have the ability or viability to stop someone from booking through third parties - Expedia etc - hence the voluntary donation of profits ... which has been covered ad nauseam," Eric Trump said. "That narrative is insane, especially given there is no President in United States history who was tougher on China than Donald Trump... a President who introduced billions and billions of dollars worth of tariffs on their goods and services."
ABC News reported in 2018 that Trump had voluntarily donated $151,470 to the U.S. Treasury, which a Trump Organization attorney said "fulfills our pledge to donate profits from foreign government patronage at our hotels and similar business during President Trump's term in office."
However, government ethics watchdogs questioned the amount of the donation, saying the methodology used did not require the Trump Organization to account for revenues earned from foreign-government patrons of unprofitable Trump properties.
In 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court dismissed lawsuits accusing Trump of profiting from his presidency, on the grounds that he is no longer in office.