Free Speech For People launched in July 2017 a campaign calling for the divestment of public pension funds from Trump owned businesses which were funneling millions of dollars to the Trump Organization in violation of the Domestic Emoluments Clause of the Constitution. Following the launch of the campaign, thousands of Californians and New Yorkers joined in calling for the fund manager, CIM Group LP, to end the investments in Trump Soho. On November 22, 2017, CIM Group LP announced the fund would buy out the Trump Organization and terminate its agreement with Trump business years before the contract expires, ending the illegal payments from state pension funds to the President and signifying an important victory in the fight to challenge corruption at the highest levels of government.
Free Speech For People was honored to work alongside California legislators in this effort, including Representative Ted Lieu. Representative Lieu spoke to the Washington Post for an article detailing the tumultuous history of Trump Soho:
Troubles compounded. New York’s broader hotel industry began to slow. And CIM, which now controlled the building, became the target of a public pressure campaign: Democrats and liberal activists began urging state pension funds, which owned stakes in Trump SoHo through investments in CIM, to extract themselves.
Their argument: These investments violated the Constitution’s domestic emoluments clause, barring the president from accepting compensation other than his salary from any of the states.
“My view has been that Donald Trump is the first president to have been in violation of the Constitution the second he was sworn in,” said Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.), who twice wrote a California public-employee pension fund urging it to divest.
In late November, CIM and the Trump Organization announced that the hotel was breaking ties with the president’s company.
Click here to read the full article from the Washington Post.
Click here to learn more about our campaign to divest Trump Soho.