So..is this corruption? More to the point..is it illegal? Does it even matter..when the drift appears to be that the President is above the law..absent impeachment? Emoluments: Trump's profits from private businesses to get hard look from federal appeals courts "An obscure provision of the Constitution that Donald Trump ridiculed as "this phony Emoluments Clause" will be debated in two federal appeals courts this week, representing yet another legal threat to the embattled president. Even as impeachment dominates the agenda in Congress and President Trump's personal lawyers ask the Supreme Court to shield his tax returns and financial records from investigators, courts in the District of Columbia and Richmond, Va., will hear arguments that the president routinely receives gifts from foreign and U.S. government officials. Those two challenges and a third working its way through federal courts in New York focus on the Trump Organization's financial stake in hotels and restaurants, which cater to customers both foreign and domestic with interests before the government Trump heads. The question: Does that violate the Constitution? Democrats in Congress, the attorneys general of Maryland and the District of Columbia, and some of Trump's competitors in New York City say the answer is yes. When a foreign official stays at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., or U.S. officials stay at a Trump resort in Scotland, they say, the presidential profits are unconstitutional. The Justice Department says the answer is no. Its lawyers are telling all three courts that a violation must involve Trump profiting directly from his employment as president, not from "the proceeds of ordinary commercial transactions between foreign governments and businesses." On Monday, that debate will come before a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The challengers won the first round in federal district court, forcing Trump's appeal. On Thursday, the debate will shift to the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit, based in Richmond, following earlier decisions that gave each side a victory and a defeat."