by Countable | 6.12.17
The Attorneys General for D.C. and Maryland, Karl A. Racine (D-D.C.) and Brian E. Frosh (D-MD), are suing President Trump over alleged violations of the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution.
There are already a handful of related suits in the legal pipeline waiting on decisions about whether or not the plaintiffs have legal standing to sue the president. This newest suit will be the first time any state, much less two, has ever sued a president individually, but D.C. and Maryland may have the strongest standing for cause.
The Washington Post, who received copies of the court documents Sunday night, report that the suit alleges:
"Fundamental to a President’s fidelity to [faithfully execute his oath of office] is the Constitution’s demand that the President ... disentangle his private finances from those of domestic and foreign powers. Never before has a President acted with such disregard for this constitutional prescription."
One of the significant aspects of the case, if the federal district court allows it to proceed, would be the likely request in discovery of the president’s tax returns. The two litigants expect that the case could, if it proceeds, go as far as the Supreme Court, with the president’s attorneys having to argue why the president shouldn’t have to release his returns to the court.
D.C. and Maryland, being the frequent recipients of foreign dignitaries and delegations traveling to see the president, are particularly affected by the existence of Trump properties in the D.C. area. The suit alleges that planned events at other D.C. hotels have already been rescheduled to Trump properties or have circumvented other D.C. venues entirely, opting instead to grease the wheels of diplomacy by choosing Trump hotels and then thanking the president publicly afterwards. The president himself has reportedly appeared at the Trump hotel and greeted guests repeatedly since the inauguration.
The Post outlines the suits justifications to pursue the case under both foreign and domestic emoluments clauses. The overarching issue, however, is the integrity of the U.S. political system. The states argue that strict adherence to the emoluments clause:
"ensure that Americans do not have to guess whether a President who orders their sons and daughters to die in foreign lands acts out of concern for his private business interests; they do not have to wonder if they lost their job due to trade negotiations in which the President has a personal stake; and they never have to question whether the President can sit across the bargaining table from foreign leaders and faithfully represent the world’s most powerful democracy, unencumbered by fear of harming his own companies.”
The suit seeks to force the president to stop violating the Constitution, but leaves the means for that halt to be decided by the court.
Should this suit by D.C. and Maryland of the president proceed? Use the Take Action button to tell your reps what you think!
— Asha Sanaker
(Photo Credit: Elvert Barnes via Flickr / Creative Commons )
Written by Countable
Yes! He should be held to the standards and laws of the constitution and those preceding him.
I cannot believe it is taking this long for someone to do something about President Trump's involvement with foreign governments and entities regarding financial dealings that benefit him privately! Time to stop this violation of our constitution. Please representatives, step up and stop this!
Get his tax returns!! We support you all the way!!
This suit is basic to our republic and the trust that we the people have in our elected representatives. All government officials should have to follow the law. No one is above it.
He should follow the standards of the Constitution. How do we know if he makes decisions for the American people or for his own financial interests? This law was meant to protect the American people. He should not be above the law.
Just like the current proceedings regarding Obstruction of Justice, ignorance of the law does not mean you are exempt from following it. I fully support proceedings to force the president to divest himself of foreign business interests or alternatively step down.
I am in support of this course of action. If there is nothing to be found, so be it; however, I as a citizen am held to standards, rightfully so the President. THANK YOU FOR HOLDING HIM ACCOUNTABLE!
Donald Trump and his business enterprises have been directly benefiting from him being in the office of the president of the United States. This is in direct violation of the emoluments clause. It's time for us to take action and ensure that our Constitution is a upheld.
We have had bad presidents, good presidents, and great presidents. But this is the first president we have ever had, in the entire history of our country, who has proven himself to be incompetent, ignorant, insulting to our nation, and even treasonous. Whether you are Democrat or Republican you know this man should be impeached. What has happened in our country is equivalent to appointing a janitor as your neurosurgeon. Whether you are Republican or Democrat you know that Pence is a far better choice than Trump. We are endangering our nation having this megalomaniac leading it. These states that are suing are doing the right thing. But they shouldn't have to. Our Congress should stand up, remove this man, and let Pence finish the term. Although you may not agree with Pence's politics you can't say he is unqualified or deranged, two words that aptly describe Trump.
YES YES AND MORE YES.
Of all the things our president is accused of this is the one that is bothering me the most. He does not seem to put the American people ahead of his own ability to profit. Every single thing he has introduced helps him in business either directly or indirectly. In my opinion this is the biggest provable abuse of power and it is clear he will choose himself, friends, and family over what is good for the majority of the population he represents. It is a violation of the constitution and should be taken seriously.
I hope this is the beginning of the end for trump. If Russia interfered they attacked our democracy. All involved need to be held accountable.
Yes. It is about time that we the people do something to stop this existential threat to our democracy. Trump must adhere to the constitution at the very least. He is in clear violation of the law this time, no longer in the gray area where he usually likes to land. Get his tax returns and follow the money.
I agree whole heartedly with this suit and it should definitely move forward
The Supreme Court role will make history. They need to stand on the just side of history as trump is clearly in violation of the emoluments clause. And I would hope that after this "new low " experience with trump that congress adds some ethical controls for the future. Even Bush's ethics lawyer says trump has violated the constitution.
Yes! Yes! Yes! It is about time this con man faces consequences for his abuses of the constitution.
It's about time. Now we just need to get all those enabling Republicans to wake up and smell the damned coffee!
The suing of Trump is necessary in order to save us from authoritarianism. The GOP is complicit in their refusal to do their duty to the Constitution.
Trump should not get special treatment. Pres. Carter was made to sell his company before taking the role as president, 'to reduce any potential for conflicts of interest'. Trump (and the GOP), has failed to draw any lines between the Presidency and the Trump organization. Trump's a billionaire, and I'm sure has a bevy of lawyers at his beckon call, so the GOP giving him excuses for being "new to this" is erroneous and makes them culpable for any violations.