Judge says emoluments suit against Trump can proceed

Judge says emoluments suit against Trump can proceed

A federal district judge in Washington ruled on Friday that a group of almost 200 Democratic senators and representatives have legal standing to sue President Donald Trump to prove he violated the U.S. Constitution's emoluments provision banning the acceptance of gifts from foreign and domestic interests.

The lawsuit claims that because Trump's businesses, such as his hotels, continue to do business with foreign governments, he is in violation of the emoluments clause.

"Today's ruling is a triumph for the rule of law, affirming that Congress can hold President Trump accountable for violations of the U.S. Constitution". "Mark my words: This president will be held accountable for using the presidency to sell out the nation for his family's profile", he wrote.

US District Judge Emmet Sullivan in Washington on Friday denied a Justice Department request to dismiss the lawsuit, filed previous year by Connecticut's Richard Blumenthal and other members of the House and Senate. Richard Blumenthal of CT and Democratic Rep. Jerrold Nadler of NY, had standing to sue Trump because he did not ask Congress before accepting anything that could be considered a foreign emolument.

The case against Trump is being led by Sen.

"Accordingly, plaintiffs adequately allege that the President has completely nullified their votes", Sullivan wrote.

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The clause at issue states, "And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State".

The judge has not ruled yet, however, on the merits portion of the Department of Justice's motion to dismiss, such as whether the definition of "emolument" was broad enough to include a foreign embassy paying the president to rent a hotel ballroom.

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.

The District of Columbia case is one of three that argues the president is violating the emoluments clause, but this case is notable because the plaintiffs - members of Congress - are mentioned in the clause itself. In July, a federal judge in Maryland said a similar lawsuit against the president can proceed, but only in relation to Trump's Washington, D.C., hotel.

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 Justice Department, however, has asked for an appeal in that case and for all proceedings to halt until an appeals court rules.

The judge's ruling was welcomed by Laurence Tribe, a constitutional scholar who has been fighting the president in court and on Twitter.

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