Trump Just Got Busted Using National Parks To Sell His Wine
President Donald Trump loves to brag about his brand. From Trump Stakes to Trump Wine and other failed ventures in between, the president has claimed that his products are the best in the world. However, no one seems to like them. In fact, he appears to be using his position as president in order to sell them, which poses a major conflict of interest.
As reported by The Atlantic, Bill Snape and his family took the 90-minute drive from their home near Washington, D.C., to the grounds of Shenandoah National Park last month when he heard that something unusual was on sale at Skyland Lodge, a hotel on the park’s premises.
He decided to check out the rumor. He had At the gift shop of the lodge, Snape found what he was looking for: multiple cases of Trump wine, produced at the Trump family’s nearby winery.
“At first, it just annoyed me,” Snape told reporter Atlantic’s reporter Robinson Meyer on Wednesday.” And then I thought, what is the law?”
Snape, a senior counsel at the Center for Biological Diversity, an environmental advocacy organization, worries that the sale poses a major conflict of interest and may even violate the Constitution’s emoluments clause. “Emoluments means advantage. You cannot use your public office for your personal advantage,” he said.
Snape says that even if a concessioner sold the wine—and not the park service—it still doesn’t pass muster.
“It’s like a Rubik’s Cube, it looks bad from every angle,” he told the Atlantic. “Why is the concessioner behaving that way—is the concessioner looking for special favors? And why is the park service allowing it to be sold?”
“Whatever you want to say about George Bush or Jimmy Carter or Bill Clinton, we weren’t eating Jimmy Carter peanuts, or buying George Bush oil, he said. “Where is the line between the public duty and his personal profit-seeking?”
According to the report, Trump family investments and the National Park Service do not only overlap at Shenandoah National Park. The observation deck of Trump’s new hotel in Washington—the Trump International, on Pennsylvania Avenue, just a few blocks from the White House—is operated and overseen by park-service rangers.
H/T: The Atlantic.