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Rep. Jamie Raskin: Trump "wants to be a king"

Jamie raskin
Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.). Photo: Chuck Kennedy/Axios

Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) said Friday President Trump is trying to work the Oval Office as a business play, and has "converted the presidency into self enrichment and re-election."

Why it matters: Raskin told Axios' Margaret Telev at an Axios event that Congress must hold President Trump accountable, citing the domestic and foreign emoluments clauses, which outline the payments a president may not receive.

What he's saying:

  • "He wants to be a king. ... Every time they go to Mar-a-Lago, it’s totally unconstitutional."
  • Raskin referred to the foreign emolument clause regarding the July 25 phone call between the Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky and Trump, when the Ukraine president says he stayed at a Trump hotel in New York.
  • "We've got to get back to constitutional basics here," Raskin says.
  • On GOP reaction to some of Trump's actions: "It’s amazing to me that our Republican colleagues can call out the president for his betrayal of the Kurds but most still can’t call out the president for his betrayal."

The big picture: Several House committees, including Judiciary and Oversight on which Raskin sits, have subpoenaed a number of people, including U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland and Energy Secretary Rick Perry, as part of their investigation into President Trump’s alleged efforts to push Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden.

  • The Trump administration has so far tried to block them administration officials from testifying in their Ukraine investigation. Sondland is expected to testify next Wednesday before the House committees, Axios’ Alayna Treene reports.
  • Raskin notes that polls are indicating a daily rise in public support for impeachment despite the lack of White House cooperation.

Go deeper... Trump-Ukraine scandal: The key players, dates and documents