Author Archives: Andy Grewal

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“See the Sights of Terminal 4!” A Reply to Section 1182(f) Enthusiasts, by Ian Samuel

by Andy Grewal — Saturday, Feb. 11, 2017

This guest post comes from Ian Samuel, a Climenko Fellow and Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School.  His areas of scholarly interest focus on cyberlaw, especially as it intersects with criminal law, security, and intellectual property.  He has clerked for Judge Alex Kozinski of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and for […]

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Some Thoughts on Business Entities and the Foreign Emoluments Clause

by Andy Grewal — Thursday, Feb. 2, 2017

Much of the commentary on President Trump and the Foreign Emoluments Clause has assumed that foreign government payments made to the Trump Organization should be treated as payments to the President himself. In this post, I want to informally explain how the presence of the business entities comprising the Trump Organization complicates the analysis. For […]

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The Foreign Emoluments Clause and the Chief Executive

by Andy Grewal — Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017

As regular readers of this blog know, I have written several posts on the Foreign Emoluments Clause over the past couple months.  During that same time, I have been working on an extensive scholarly article on the clause, and I recently posted a draft on SSRN.  (Download here: The Foreign Emoluments Clause and the Chief […]

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Donations of Emoluments to the U.S. Treasury—Tax Deductible?

by Andy Grewal — Friday, Jan. 13, 2017

On Wednesday, President-Elect Donald Trump, through his legal advisors, presented his plan to address potential conflicts of interests created by his continued ownership in the Trump Organization. As part of his plan, the President (referred to this way for ease of exposition) has promised to transfer profits derived some foreign government transactions to the United […]

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Should Congress Impeach Obama for His Emoluments Clause Violations?

by Andy Grewal — Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016

My prior post explained how ordinary business transactions between foreign governments and the Trump Organization would not automatically create violations of the Foreign Emoluments Clause regarding President-elect Trump. That post concluded that the term “emolument” refers only to payments made in connection with the performance of services for a foreign government (whether as an officer or employee), […]

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What DOJ Opinions Say About Trump and the Foreign Emoluments Clause

by Andy Grewal — Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016

My prior post explained how the Foreign Emoluments Clause probably would not apply to ordinary business transactions between foreign governments and Donald Trump’s businesses. That post assumed, as a threshold matter, that the Foreign Emoluments Clause, which applies to holders of an “Office of Profit or Trust,” reaches the President. However, as noted in the […]

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The Trump Hotel Isn’t Unconstitutional

by Andy Grewal — Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2016

Commentators have argued that President-Elect Trump’s various business interests, including in the D.C.-based Trump Hotel, may create constitutional problems under the Emoluments Clause. See, e.g., “Trump’s Hotel Lodges a Constitutional Problem,” Bloomberg View (Nov. 21, 2016). As relevant here, the Emoluments Clause prevents a person holding a federal office from accepting any “present”  or “emolument” of […]

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Trump’s Broad Powers to Revoke Tax Regulations Issued By the Obama Administration

by Andy Grewal — Monday, Nov. 14, 2016

The IRS was actively involved in implementing various policy objectives of the Obama Administration and issued various controversial regulations, including those dealing with the Affordable Care Act. With Donald Trump soon to step into the Oval Office, one may wonder about the extent to which the Trump Administration can reverse regulations issued by the Treasury/IRS […]

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“Substantial Authority” and Taxpayer Reliance

by Andy Grewal — Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2016

Earlier this week, the NYTimes published an article on a tax strategy apparently used by Donald Trump in 1991 to reduce his taxable income. The ensuing commentary has focused heavily on the mechanics of the tax strategy, and has emphasized that though there was apparently “substantial authority” for the tax positions claimed by Trump, those […]

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Did the Yale Daily News Destroy its Tax-Exempt Status by its Political Endorsement?

by Andy Grewal — Monday, Oct. 31, 2016

Last week, the Yale Daily News Publishing Company, Incorporated (i.e., the Yale Daily News (YDN)) caused a minor stir when it endorsed Hillary Clinton for President. The YDN is a corporation that claims tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3), and engaging in political activity is inconsistent with that statute’s requirements. Specifically, if a corporation wants to […]

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