Federal court hands Democrats a win in emoluments case against Trump

A federal court in New York ruled that the lawsuit against President Donald Trump for not putting his assets in a blind trust when he took office could move forward in what was a win for Democrats.

The Hill reported that judges in the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 in favor of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) who filed the suit against the president for what they alleged was the violation of a constitutional clause, despite the same case having been dismissed by a lower court late in 2017.

“Plaintiffs have plausibly pleaded that the President’s ownership of hospitality businesses that compete with them will induce government patrons of the hospitality industry to favor Trump businesses over those of the Plaintiffs so as to secure favorable governmental action from the President and Executive branch,” Judge Pierre Leval wrote in the decision according to The Hill.

CREW responded to the decision saying that, “If President Trump would like to avoid the case going further and curtail the serious harms caused by his unconstitutional conduct, now would be a good time to divest from his businesses and end his violations of the Emoluments Clauses of the Constitution,” Executive Director Noah Bookbinder said in a statement.

The suit against the president is one of several that he is contending with, including one pertaining to his tax returns, along with multiple legal challenges for his administration policies.

“Watchdogs have raised concerns about the president’s decision not to put his company in a blind trust, noting that lobbyists, foreign officials and political insiders may frequent his businesses to earn favor with the administration,” The Hill reported.

Lawmakers, along with other political watchdogs have voiced their concerns about government officials availing themselves of the benefits of using Trump properties.

Several lawsuits have stemmed from the allegation that officials doing so is in violation of the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution, which prohibits elected officials from receiving gifts or benefits from foreign governments without Congress’s approval.

“The president last month suggested he may host world leaders at next year’s Group of Seven (G-7) summit at his Doral resort near Miami, and the Air Force is looking into its pilots habit of staying at Trump’s property in Turnberry, Scotland, while refueling,” The Hill reported.

Written by Savannah Pointer.

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