An artist projected “Pay Trump Bribes Here” as well as “Emoluments Welcome” onto the wall of President Trump’s Washington D.C. hotel in a controversial publicity stunt Monday evening.
Photos captured by social media users also showed the full Emoluments Clause, “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,” projected onto the Pennsylvania Avenue building.
The clause, which forms Article 1, Section 9 of the U.S. constitution, prohibits government officials from accepting payments or gifts from foreign governments.
Artist Robin Bell claimed responsibility for the D.C. publicity stunt, which lasted for about 10 minutes and ended when a security guard stood in front of the projector. “We had a couple great moments,” he told the New York Daily News. “A tour bus pulled up, people started clapping and taking photos. Everyone on the street, except for the security guard, seemed really happy.”
Shortly after his inauguration in January, Trump was sued by ethics watchdog the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) for allegedly violating the constitution’s Emoluments Clause. CREW’s suit argued Trump contravened the clause by accepting payments to his many businesses from foreign governments.