Will Trump Avoid a Constitutional Crisis?

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In 1785, when Benjamin Franklin, then the U.S. Ambassador to France, was set to return home, King Louis XVI presented him with a snuffbox decorated with a diamond-encrusted painting of the king. While gift-giving of this sort was common in European diplomacy, the expensive present caused a minor scandal in America. One of the corrupting practices that the founders were trying to prevent from taking root was the European habit of subtly buying off foreigners with gifts. Franklin, who fell in love with France during his service there, was viewed by some of his American colleagues as an easy mark.

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