Article I, Section 9 of the Constitution: “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.”
US Federal law
110.20 Prohibition on contributions, donations, expenditures, independent expenditures, and disbursements by foreign nationals (52 U.S.C. 30121, 36 U.S.C. 510)
A foreign national shall not, directly or indirectly, make a contribution or a donation of money or other thing of value, or expressly or impliedly promise to make a contribution or a donation, in connection with any Federal, State, or local election.
Campaigns may not solicit or accept contributions from foreign nationals. Federal law prohibits contributions, donations, expenditures and disbursements solicited, directed, received or made directly or indirectly by or from foreign nationals in connection with any election — federal, state or local. This prohibition includes contributions or donations made to political committees and building funds and to make electioneering communications. Furthermore, it is a violation of federal law to knowingly provide substantial assistance in the making, acceptance or receipt of contributions or donations in connection with federal and nonfederal elections to a political committee, or for the purchase or construction of an office building. This prohibition includes, but is not limited to, acting as a conduit or intermediary for foreign national contributions and donations.
A person acts knowingly for the purposes of this section when he or she has:
- Actual knowledge that the funds have come from a foreign national;
- Awareness of certain facts that would lead a reasonable person to believe that there is a substantial probability that the money is from a foreign national; or
- Awareness of facts that should have prompted a reasonable inquiry into whether the source of funds is a foreign national.
Pertinent facts that satisfy the “knowing” requirement include knowledge of:
- Use of a foreign passport or passport number;
- Use of a foreign address;
- A check or other written instrument drawn on an account or wire transfer from a foreign bank; or
- Contributor or donor living abroad.
Definition of foreign national
A foreign national is:
- An individual who is not a citizen of the United States, and not lawfully admitted for permanent residence (as defined in 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(20)); or
- A foreign principal, as defined in 22 U.S.C. § 611(b). Section 611 defines a foreign principal as a group organized under the laws of a foreign country or having its principal place of business in a foreign country. The statute specifically mentions foreign governments, political parties, partnerships, associations and corporations.
“… the framers needed a founding document that fully recognized and defended against the corrupting influence of foreign money and power, particularly on the president.
Article II of the Constitution gives such power to the president to run the executive branch that a president under the influence of a foreign nation would be far more dangerous than any other single individual,” says Stephen Saltzburg, professor at The George Washington University Law School. “That kind of conflict, between loyalty to the United States and loyalty to a foreign nation, would be intolerable.”
Protection Against Presidential Corruption
To guard against such conflicts and provide a remedy for a worst-case scenario of presidential corruption, the founders built two key provisions into the Constitution: the so-called “emoluments clause” and the power to impeach a president.
Lying liars and foreign influence.