Mr. Trump owns a mountain of legal trouble at this point including the special counsel investigation into Russian interference. Many people may have forgotten that 200 Democrats also sued the president saying that he was in violation of the Emoluments Clause due to his continued business with foreign governments while in office.
On Friday, it was reported that a federal judge ruled that the lawsuit will be allowed to proceed. According to The Chicago Tribune:
‘The lawsuit is based on the Constitution’s emoluments clause, which bars presidents from taking payments from foreign states. Trump’s business, which he still owns, has hosted foreign embassy events and visiting foreign officials at its downtown District of Columbia hotel.’
In addition to this, Trump has already been facing a separate Emoluments lawsuit filed by the attorneys general of Washington, District of Columbia, and Maryland and so far it is moving forward.
Judge Emmet Sullivan wrote in his ruling:
‘The Clause requires the President to ask Congress before accepting a prohibited foreign emolument.’
Sullivan said that if the allegations made by the Democrats are true, then:
‘The President is accepting prohibited foreign emoluments without asking and without receiving a favorable reply from Congress.’
The Emoluments Clause specifically states that an elected official cannot accept “any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.” Therefore, the Democrats’ claim is that Trump is violating the clause anytime his hotels or golf courses receive payments from foreign governments because he still has stakes in them.
Mr. Trump’s properties benefit from his contacts with foreign governments including his hotel in Washington, which has hosted multiple foreign delegations. Instead of divesting stakes in his businesses, Trump placed his assets in a trust controlled by his two sons, Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr.
According to The Tribune:
Although Trump has given up day-to-day management of his businesses, which include residential, office, hotel and golf properties in the United States, Europe and South America, he still owns them and can withdraw money from them at any time.’
Judge Sullivan explained:
‘Plaintiffs argue that each Member of Congress suffers a particularized and concrete injury when his or her vote is nullified by the President’s denial of the opportunity to vote on the record about whether to approve his acceptance of a prohibited foreign emolument.’
Trump’s attorneys feel differently and have argued that it is not necessary for Congress to approve any transactions with foreign states. They argue that Trump’s payments he receives through his hotels and properties are not emoluments according to the definition set forth by the Founding Fathers.
The Tribune reported:
‘This is the latest case in which the president and his company may now be exposed to a lengthy legal process and possible discovery by plaintiffs who oppose him politically, a process that could include depositions of witnesses and the disclosure of Trump Organization financial documents.’
The emoluments clauses of the Constitution had not been tested by the courts for over 200 years until Mr. Trump was elected.
Here’s what Twitter had to say:
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