The Group of Seven (G-7) is an economic inter-governmental organization made up of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States. The nations that make it up make up the seven largest IMF-described advanced economies. At various points in its history, the organization was known as the Group of Eight and the Group of Six due to different membership.
In 2020, the organization is planning to meet in the United States, and President Donald J. Trump said that his privately owned Doral Resort would be the place to host the yearly high-profile summit of the organization. That decision provoked a series of intense backlash that ultimately led the president to announce that the location of the summit would not be his resort and would instead begin an immediate search for a new location In a tweet, Trump announced that one of the possible locations was Camp David.
In the days leading up to the reversal of the decision, Trump faced severe backlash. Critics focused on the Emoluments Clause, an ethics rule which prevents elected officials from receiving gifts or benefits from foreign governments. They viewed this decision as a clear violation of the Clause, due to the fact that this would invariably lead to foreign governments paying the resort. This criticism was heightened when Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney said that the president himself was the one who encouraged his Doral resort to be considered in the first place.
Though Democrats were the most vocal critics, criticism of this decision was bipartisan. Alaska Senator Murkowski, while speaking to reporters informed them that in her opinion it was not appropriate for the president to host the G-7 at his own property.
“[The decision] just further fans the flames that the Democrats have been ranting about” while speaking to the Washington Post,” said Republican Congressman Paul Mitchell of Michigan. The lawmaker is planning to retire at the end of his term.
All of this happened during the commencement of the impeachment inquiry, a week during which Republicans stormed into a closed-door hearing as a form of protest against the inquiry itself and in the aftermath of a deeply damaging testimony by Bill Taylor, former Ambassador and current charge d’affaires to Ukraine. The testimony directly linked Trump and the withholding of military aid to Ukraine for purely political reasons.
It seems that one of the conditions on which Taylor came back was an assurance that the United States would continue to maintain its strong relationship with the former Soviet-bloc country. Former ambassador Bill Taylor comes following the previous Ambassador to Ukraine, Maria Yovanovitch who was targeted by the president’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani. Giuliani claimed that she opposed the Biden probe and verbally berated the president. This event is one of the events cited by the anonymous whistleblower whose complaints help form the grounds for the impeachment inquiry in the first place.