Published: Tue, October 02, 2018
World News | By Sandy Lane

An Emoluments Clause Lawsuit Against Him Just Had a Major Win

An Emoluments Clause Lawsuit Against Him Just Had a Major Win

In his ruling, Judge Emmet G. Sullivan wrote that the members of Congress "appropriate seek relief in federal court" because they have no way to address their concern about Trump's alleged violation of the emoluments clause with legislation. A federal judge allowed a similar suit by the State of Maryland and the District of Columbia to proceed back in July.

The congressional Democrats are seeking an order compelling President Trump to notify Congress when he's offered an emolument, giving them the option to vote on whether he can accept it. Mr Blumenthal has called the emoluments clauses the Constitution's "premier anti-corruption provision". Richard Blumenthal, D-Connecticut, told the Associated Press.

Elizabeth Wydra, attorney for the Democratic lawmakers and president of the nonprofit Constitutional Accountability Center who argued the case in court, said that "by recognizing that members of Congress have standing to sue, the court proved to all in America today that no one is above the law, not even the president".

The Democrats' effort is led by Sen. That, they claim, is a violation of the Constitution. The Democrats' attorneys have argued that Congress not only has a right but is required, as part of their jobs, to weigh in on potential emoluments to Trump such as a $6.5 million condo purchase by the Qatari government or a Chinese-government owned company's investment in a project that will include a Trump-branded hotel and golf course in Indonesia.

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The lawsuit is based on the Constitution's emoluments clause, which bars presidents from taking payments from foreign states.

Attorneys for the Trump Organization did not return an immediate request for comment from CNN on Friday night. His Washington, D.C., hotel is near the White House and has become a magnet for foreign governments, previously hosting groups tied to Kuwait, Bahrain, Turkey, Malaysia and Saudi Arabia.

"The Clause requires the president to ask Congress before accepting a prohibited foreign emolument", Sullivan wrote.

This isn't the only emoluments lawsuit Trump is facing. The Department of Justice has appealed the judge's decision to allow this case to proceed.

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The media and protesters start to gather in front of the Trump Tower in Vancouver before the inauguration ceremeony for the Trump International Hotel and Tower on February 28, 2017.

"The next step will be to overcome their objections on the legal issues of what constitutes an emolument, but I believe we will move forward and gain access to key information on Donald Trump's income and financial dealings", Blumenthal added.

Before Trump took office, the emoluments clauses of the Constitution had not been tested in court in more than 200 years.

Trump's lawyers said the Democrats can't bring a case forward because they weren't personally injured by the president, but rather by their colleagues in Congress.

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