Democratic Senators spent all day Wednesday pressing Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett on hypotheticals.
Overturning Roe v. Wade…
Striking down the Affordable Care Act…
Protecting Second Amendment rights…
So, Republican Senator Josh Hawley tried flipping the script and used his time to present and ask about his own hypothetical: how Barrett would rule on a situation involving the Foreign Emoluments Clause and a certain former vice president (strictly hypothetically speaking).
“Let me ask you about another set of questions, just briefly, that you had this morning. Senator Leahy asked you about the Foreign Emoluments clause, which is in Article 1, Section 9, Paragraph 8. He asked you whether it was best characterized as an anti-corruption clause —you might remember that— in terms of foreign influence and foreign interference, and then he referenced the president and various allegations about foreign influence,” Hawley said via the Daily Wire, pivoting the anti-Trump line of questioning to a breaking news report about the Biden family.
“Since he asked you about it, and since he asked about foreign influence in government, I think it’s only fair that I ask whether hypothetically speaking, just hypothetically, if there were, let’s say, a Vice President of the United States who hypothetically had an adult son, who hypothetically worked for a foreign oligarch, who then sold access to his father, the Vice President, and then his father then intervened in a case to make sure that that oligarch wasn’t prosecuted, hypothetically, would that constitute the kind of foreign corruption that the Constitution’s concerned about?”
Barrett politely brushed the question, responding: “I can’t answer hypotheticals.”
“Well, I thought you might say that, and I’m glad you don’t and won’t, because who knows? That case may come before you. But I think it’s a fair set of questions to ask,” Hawley added.
Watch the exchange below:
Hypothetically speaking… pic.twitter.com/7OuPgVck5g
— Elizabeth Harrington (@LizRNC) October 14, 2020
The Daily Wire reports the Foreign Emoluments clause prevents government officials from receiving gifts or payments of any kind:
The Foreign Emoluments clause “generally prohibits federal officeholders from receiving any gift, payment, or other thing of value from a foreign state or its rulers, officers, or representatives,” Britannica.com notes. It states, “No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.”
The Foreign Emoluments clause has been cited by Democrats to attack President Donald Trump; in February, a federal appeals court dismissed a lawsuit brought by Democrats asserting Trump violated the clause by permitting his businesses to receive money from foreign governments without prior approval of Congress, as CNBC reported.