I'm offering a few links below that will allow us to dig into it further over the spring.
Here's the text of the clause. It can be found in the first article of the Constitution - the one that outlines the nature of legislative powers. It is included in the section that places limits on national legislative powers:
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.
Article I, Section 9, Clause 8
This is the definition of the word "emolument" from dictionary.com:
profit, salary, or fees from office or employment; compensation for services
In essence, no governing official can obtain private profit from public work. That obviously leads to corruption. Below are links with background - expect more in the near future.
- Heritage Foundation: Emoluments Clause.
- The Brookings Institution: THE EMOLUMENTS CLAUSE: ITS TEXT, MEANING, AND APPLICATION.
- The New York Times: Donald Trump’s Business Dealings Test a Constitutional Limit.
- The Constitution Daily: Constitution Check: Can a violation of the Emoluments Clause be proven?