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AGs Request Trump's Communications with Foreign Officials About DC Hotel

by Countable | Updated on 9.17.18

UPDATE - September 17, 2018

  • The attorneys general of Maryland and D.C. are asking a court to order President Donald Trump to hand over any communications with state or foreign governments related to his Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C.

  • The request is part of a lawsuit by the AGs, who argue that Trump is violating the emoluments clause of the Constitution, which bans public officials from receiving gifts and cash from foreign governments without approval from Congress.

  • Trump had tried to have the case dismissed, but U.S. District Court Judge Peter Messitte ruled in July that the attorneys general had legal standing to sue.

Countable's original story appears below.

Judge Allows Emoluments Lawsuit Against Trump to Proceed

UPDATE - March 3, 2018: A federal judge ruled that a lawsuit alleging President Donald Trump violated the Constitution's ban on receiving "emoluments," or payments from foreign governments, can proceed.

  • Federal District Judge Peter Messitte of the US District Court of Maryland ruled that the Maryland and District of Columbia attorneys general who brought the case have legal standing to sue the president.

"[A] large number of Maryland and District of Columbia residents are being affected and will continue to be affected when foreign and state governments choose to stay, host events, or dine at the Hotel rather than at comparable Maryland or District of Columbia establishments, in whole or in substantial part simply because of the President's association with it," Messitte wrote.

  • This is the first of three emoluments lawsuits against Trump to have cleared this initial legal hurdle.

Countable's original story appears below.

What’s the story?

  • A summons has been sent to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in a lawsuit alleging President Donald Trump is violating the emoluments clause of the Constitution.

  • The attorneys general for Washington, D.C. and Maryland argue that Trump is violating the clause, which bans public officials from receiving gifts and cash from foreign governments without approval from Congress.

  • The Republican National Committee spent almost $271,000 at Trump properties in February, according to Federal Election Commission filings. That represents 86 percent of the RNC’s February expenses.

Why does it matter?

  • The lawsuit alleges representatives from foreign governments who stay at Trump hotels are, in essence, giving the president money, thereby violating the foreign emoluments clause which prohibits "any present, Emolument, Office or Title, of any kind whatever."

  • The attorneys general also argue that local businesses in Maryland and D.C. have lost revenue opportunities as foreign entities instead choose to spend money at Trump properties.

  • Trump and his legal team have three weeks to respond to the summons.

What do you think?

Are you concerned about President Trump potentially violating the emoluments clause? Is the president benefiting personally from his position? Use the Take Action button to tell your reps what you think, then share your thoughts below.

—Josh Herman

Related Reading

(Photo Credit: 400tmax / iStock)

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(241)
  • Karen
    03/23/2018
    ···

    FINALLY our Judicial Branch is trying to make Trump comply with our Constitution. Clearly the “Unified Republican Government” (per Paul Ryan) doesn’t give a hoot about our 3 Branch system of government, our Constitution, our laws, or our way of life. If they don’t like the way our Government was created, believe our laws don’t pertain to them and don’t understand “For The People and By The People” they need to leave our country.

    Like (172)
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  • Frances
    Voted Support
    09/19/2018
    ···

    THE TRAITOR-IN-CHIEF IS AN EMBARRASSMENT TO THIS COUNTRY! HE AND PENCE WHO PURJURED HIMSELF BEFORE CONGRESS, HVE TO GO!

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  • Kevin
    03/23/2018
    ···

    I believe Jarrod Kushner has been using classified information to further his business interests, and those of Trump!

    Like (118)
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  • Jeverna
    Voted Support
    09/19/2018
    ···

    Transparency any way we can get it with Trump is necessary.

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  • Robert
    03/23/2018
    ···

    Finally, maybe they will do their job and stop this family and friends from robbing us blind.

    Like (97)
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  • Chickie
    03/23/2018
    ···

    This has been an issue since #45 took office. #45 has made it unequivocally clear that his love of making money supersedes his position as POTUS. That #45 has used his position to increase his businesses bottom line for himself and his family members is the one thing that we know we can count on. The Republicans have not required #45 to provide transparency by releasing his income tax statements, business statements, and have not forced him to step away fully from all his businesses. This lies solely on the shoulders of the GOP. They so want to fulfill their own agendas, they have blatantly looked the other way. No other a President, Democrat or Republican, has ever been so repugnant towards our Constitution as #45. And because of this, the people of the U.S. have been and will continue to be, the ones to suffer for it.

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  • Abbi
    03/23/2018
    ···

    Fucking finally!! Carter had to give up his peanut farm why is this con man soaking up profits from his businesses?!

    Like (78)
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  • Chuck
    03/23/2018
    ···

    One of the earliest offenses the president has leveled at the laws regarding his office is finally coming to court. Let us begin to take this man for task for disobeying the law.

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  • Anne
    03/23/2018
    ···

    Of course trump is profiting from this presidency. He has been allowed to do anything he wishes with no checks and balances whatsoever. Why is that? He did not put his business in blind trust...and his kids are involved in the government while running his business and their own. You are not doing your job by allowing him the freedom to do whatever he desires, because frankly he has no idea what the constitution means or the rule of law.

    Like (59)
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  • William
    03/23/2018
    ···

    Is this new? His daughter and son have been brokering deals under the guise of "not" being a diplomats for the US, yet traveling on our dime with US security until they needed to send emails. But now she's the temporary Secretary of State to meet with Foreign groups of whom they have business interests in dealing with on a personal level. Trump seems to think since he doesn't take the money at the door or talk to people directly that it's ok to keep doing business and use the Oval office to facilitate it. This is wrong and it's been wrong from day one. Will anything happen? No, because while others are being destroyed by the rules, other people change them after complaining they should be enforced fairly when it didn't apply to them. Now that it does apply nothing will happen at all.

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  • I.Got.an.Idea...
    03/24/2018
    ···

    Lock up the entire Republican regime. They are all guilty and Americans are continuing to pay for the Republicans unethical, immoral actions. We are becoming more unhealthy due to the toxins that are spewed into our waters, air, soil and into the wildlife that is consumed and livestock and vegetables and all of the food that is offered in stores and restaurants. The oppression is causing stress and stress related disease, destroying marriages, families and ultimately our societies. Their only answer to anything is to give everyone guns and allow banks, corporations and businesses to steal from every single entity and person they can get away with. Disgusting little-minded sub-human species. .... And they walk among us.....

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  • Vanessa
    03/23/2018
    ···

    What do I think??? HELL YES! Didn’t we just read about presidential emblem being used at his golf course? They continue to thumb their noses at the American framework with the blatant violations. They’re a whole pack of grifters....

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  • OlderNWiser
    03/24/2018
    ···

    This is appalling how Trump and his family are raking in money, traveling on our dime, and using this position to profit and never, ever to serve. Every day he is in office is a violation of the emoluments clause. To pretend that his businesses, his family — including Kushner— are not profiting from his position fools no one. but a few desperate uninformed of his base. The rest of us see the emperor has no clothes.

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  • John
    03/23/2018
    ···

    45 and his spawn have been selling their influence to the highest bidder right from the start. Instead of serving the country they have served up a big pile of fraud and graft and corruption for themselves. It would be nice if the GOP still believed in the Constitution and the rule of law and took steps to halt this. But they sold themselves to the fascist/white power/nativist yokels. So let the courts rein them in and bring them to justice. It will be wonderful to get the country back on track again. Enough of the Reign of the Right!

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  • Abby
    03/23/2018
    ···

    I’m relieved to see that someone is concerned about this.Trump’s criminal enterprises are an embarrassment to this country. The Constitution means nothing to him and apparently it means nothing to the Republicans who are complicit by not voting for impeachment.

    Like (26)
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  • Chuck
    03/23/2018
    ···

    One of the earliest offenses the president has leveled at the laws regarding his office is finally coming to court. Let us begin to take this man for task for disobeying the law.

    Like (24)
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  • August
    03/23/2018
    ···

    He has and continues to violate this rule. This Congress needs to; forget it, we will have a real Congress do your job for you in January 2019.

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  • Jerrey
    03/23/2018
    ···

    It is about time that this issue is brought to the surface and hopefully adjudicated! I urge my representatives to support this process to completion however it sorts out.

    Like (21)
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  • Surender
    03/23/2018
    ···

    US Gov has paid over $500,000 to Trump properties ... thats official... and indirectly ? Security and travel costs to mar-a-lago and new york? Over 100 golf days first year... all while cutting a broad swath of essential funding for people most needy.

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  • Donelle
    03/24/2018
    ···

    It’s about time something is being done about this outrageous administration - now we need to see results

    Like (20)
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  • Jennifer
    03/23/2018
    ···

    If Trump is guilty of violating the clause, then George Washington and numerous other Presidents since then would have been in violation; 1) It was never intended to affect fair market enterprises; and 2) the DOJ’s argument was accurate: “Neither the text nor the history of the clauses shows that they were intended to reach benefits arising from a president's private business pursuits having nothing to do with his office or personal service to a foreign power," the DOJ said in the recent court filing. "Were plaintiffs' interpretation correct, presidents from the very beginning of the Republic, including George Washington, would have received prohibited 'emoluments.” Maybe Trump should have set up a Foundation as a ruse through which he could funnel foreign money. Oh wait; that’s been done already.

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  • Peggy
    03/23/2018
    ···

    DJT is clearly in violation of the emoluments clause. Take action uphold the constitution.

    Like (18)
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