Who can forget Trump’s infamous press conference in his early days that included stacks of folders filled with paper no one was allowed to actually read that he said proved that he had signed over all of his business interests to his sons? While that isn’t generally how it works since Trump and his family obviously still profits from those businesses, the president insisted that those stacks of paper cleared him of any concerns regarding the Emoluments Clause.
‘The clause…forbids government officials from accepting payments and gifts from foreign governments, [and] raises the question of whether the president is allowed to continue collecting profits from a global Trump brand.’
Summons for Donald J. Trump in his official and individual capacities ready for clerk's signature in DC and MD attorneys general's emoluments lawsuit. pic.twitter.com/VkJx7f2Rft
— Zach Everson (@Z_Everson) March 20, 2018
Now, Trump will be served with a court summons filed by the attorneys general of Maryland and Washington, D.C. over their lawsuit that Trump is in violation of that clause. As WAMU reported:
‘A lawsuit filed by D.C. and Maryland against President Trump over his alleged business conflicts has been expanded to include Trump in his personal capacity as a businessman, which means that a summons has been sent to perhaps the most famous address in Washington: 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
‘The attorneys general for both states argue in a lawsuit that Trump is violating the emoluments clause of the U.S. Constitution, which in part bans public officials from receiving gifts and payments from foreign governments without approval from Congress.’
#BREAKING: #TrumpSwamp–.@maddow reports that two months after #Trump's meeting with Japanese PM in which #Kushner & #Ivanka WERE ALSO PRESENT, #Kushner Cos SOLD THEIR STAKE in a bldg to a Japanese Govt-Owned Co. for a 60% PROFIT. SWEET!!#TheResistance #TRMS #Maddow #CNN #MSNBC pic.twitter.com/9K8f3yJtj7
— Emoluments Clause (@Emolclause) March 15, 2018
Their claims include Trump’s profits from his hotel in Washington, D.C., where foreign diplomats and leaders have felt obligated to stay in order to please the president of the U.S., as well as claims that businesses in both areas have suffered due to these stays. Violations of the emoluments clause (Merriam Webster defines “emoluments” as “the returns arising from office or employment usually in the form of compensation or perquisites”) is a violation of the U.S. Constitution and an impeachable offense. Should Trump be found guilty of these violations, it could mean the end of his presidency.
Court rules that our #emoluments lawsuit can continue without delay.
Our case to hold Pres. Trump accountable for violating the Constitution's anti-corruption provisions moves forward.
— AG Karl A. Racine (@AGKarlRacine) March 13, 2018
While this lawsuit is not the first to be filed accusing the president of profiting from his office, this does mark the first time that Trump will face a summons over these accusations.
Featured image via Getty/Pool