Donald Trump has hit and run over the emoluments clause, which makes presidential profits illegal, with a Mac truck loaded full with total disregard of the law. Then, POTUS backed up and ran over it again and again, just to ensure he obliterated all of the clause’s meaning. Yet, attorneys general (AG) have begun to investigate this matter with a lawsuit.
Two attorneys general, Karl Racine from Washington D.C. and Peter Rosh from Maryland, have filed this suit to receive communications about Trump’s newest hotel. Specifically, they want communications between the president and foreign officials or U.S. state governments.
Foreign officials have moved their business from other hotels to Trump International Hotel, because they believed this would curry the president’s favor. The five-star hotel notes on its hotel website:
‘We put you at the heart of it all with exceptionally designed luxury hotels in iconic destinations and the most stunning views. Our personal mission to deliver unparalleled service and experiences, so that you never have to settle for anything less than extraordinary.’
This will be the first emoluments clause case in the country to make it to trial. The AGs have filed suit against Trump the president of these United States and Trump the individual. According to NPR, the suit says that the man sitting in the Oval Office:
‘Violated two anti-corruption provisions of the Constitution: the Foreign Emoluments Clause, which bars federal officials from accepting gifts or rewards from foreign government officials, and the Domestic Emoluments Clause, which prohibits the president from accepting benefits from state governments.’
The AGs filed for “document discovery” in the U.S. District Court in Greenbelt, MD. They wanted this to support their complaints about the commander-in-chief. They were particularly interested in Trump International Hotel, which is blocks from the White House.
Racine and Rosh wanted additional information, NPR reported, which included hotel records of business with foreign government officials and cash moving from the hotel to the “revocable trust” that maintains the hotel to the president. They also wanted any documents from the federal General Services Administration (GSA), which owns the building and leases it, to the Trump hotel corporation and also from the U.S. Department of the Treasury. The Treasury has managed the lease payments.
U.S. District Court Judge Peter Messitte approved the case moving forward. At this time, the judge has not determined whether the suit will “include Trump as an individual.” The Department of Justice (DOJ) will defend the president. Its premiss has been that discovery should not occur until the judge makes this decision.
The DOJ said that a sitting president should not go through discovery due to the separation of powers, according to Fox 17 in Nashville:
‘(To avoid) constitutional confrontation” between two branches of government…(the) public interest is decidedly in favor of a stay because any discovery would necessarily be a distraction to the President’s performance of his constitutional duties.’
D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine noted:
‘After winning two major rulings in this case already, we anticipated President Trump’s most recent motion. Nonetheless, our case is still moving forward. We are on track to propose a schedule for discovery by September 14, and we hope to request relevant documents shortly thereafter.’
Featured image is a screenshot via YouTube.