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U.S. appeals court says Trump cannot dodge foreign corruption lawsuit

37 Comments
By Andrew Chung and Jan Wolfe

A U.S. federal appeals court on Friday revived a lawsuit alleging President Donald Trump violated the U.S. Constitution by profiting from foreign and domestic officials who patronized his hotels and restaurants, moving a watchdog group closer to obtaining financial records from his real estate company.

In a 2-1 ruling, a three-judge panel of the New York-based 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals set aside a lower court ruling that had thrown out the case because the people who sued could not prove they were harmed by Trump's actions and his role as president.

Friday's ruling dealt with preliminary questions relating to whether the case should be heard, without directly addressing whether Trump violated the law.

The lawsuit, initially filed by plaintiffs including the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, accused the Republican president of failing to disentangle himself from his hotels and other businesses, making him vulnerable to inducements by officials seeking to curry favor.

The case alleged violations of the U.S. Constitution's anti-corruption "emoluments" provisions, which ban the president from accepting gifts or payments from foreign governments without congressional consent.

Deepak Gupta, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, said the ruling puts them on track to subpoena financial records from Trump's business through the so-called "discovery" process.

The Justice Department, which is defending Trump in the case, could appeal the decision.

A Justice Department spokeswoman declined to comment.

"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," said CREW executive director Noah Bookbinder in a statement.

Trump, a wealthy real estate developer who as president regularly visits his own hotels, resorts and golf clubs, maintains ownership of his businesses but has ceded day-to-day control to his sons. Critics have said that is not a sufficient safeguard.

Friday's ruling comes in a lawsuit filed days after Trump took office in January 2017. The plaintiffs included a New York hotel owner, an events booker in Washington and a restaurant trade group that allege lost patronage, wages and commissions from clients who now prefer Trump's businesses over theirs because of the ability to gain the president's favor.

The plaintiffs cite examples of foreign government entities, including the Embassy of Kuwait and a delegation from Malaysia, choosing Trump's properties, such as the Trump International Hotel in Washington, over other venues.

The Justice Department had urged the appeals court to bury what it called a "manufactured lawsuit" because the plaintiffs cannot show that the harms they incurred can be traced to Trump's financial interest in his businesses rather than other reasons.

Trump also faces a similar case brought by a group of more than 200 Democratic Party lawmakers.

A third "emoluments" case, brought by the Democratic attorneys general of Maryland and the District of Columbia, was tossed by an appeals court in July.

© (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2019.

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

37 Comments
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It won't be long before Trumpophiles are here alleging that the judges are biased liberals trying to take down a duly elected president.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Everyone knows Trump is corrupt. Some want to see justice, others want to see him profit. But everyone knows he's corrupt.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Trump is so corrupt that he thinks its his "right" for his brand to profit from being president. He is exactly the president the emoluments clause is intended to limit.

Also corrupt is the fact that he is using his own administration and DOJ to defend his personal corruption. They should be on the other side of this lawsuit. They should be the ones enforcing the constitution, not excusing his violation of it!

So much for men of integrity.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

It won't be long before Trumpophiles are here alleging that the judges are biased liberals trying to take down a duly elected president.

They will also note that all politicians are corrupt, especially Dems. And that what’s wrong with corruption? And that libs are jealous of Trump’s success.

Here goes.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Lock him up. Drain the swamp. Fix the anti-nepotism laws so these abuses never happen again.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Lock him up. Drain the swamp. Fix the anti-nepotism laws so these abuses never happen again.

Agreed.

You give me hope that there are some decent conservatives left.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

alleging President Donald Trump violated the U.S. Constitution by profiting from foreign and domestic officials who patronized his hotels and restaurants,

Corrupt businessman, corrupt politician. Leopards and spots.

Lock him up. Drain the swamp. Fix the anti-nepotism laws so these abuses never happen again.

Has anyone seen Trump's most recent tax info to see how much his family businesses have profited since he's been in office, and which corporations he owns shares in have profited from federal contracts?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Chip: It won't be long before Trumpophiles are here alleging that the judges are biased liberals trying to take down a duly elected president.

At this point I don't think they'll really have any fear about openly supporting his corruption.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

just like everything else we will find the truth at the end. Just like that we found the air crews staying at Trump property in Scotland were only 6 percent of total and that Obama DoD, not Trump, authorized It.

yes, 2-1 and the 2 were appointed by Dems. That’s why this one can proceed while the others were thrown out of court. Thanks for asking.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

Just like that we found the air crews staying at Trump property in Scotland were only 6 percent of total and that Obama DoD, not Trump, authorized It.

As Trump would say; "It's fake news."

4 ( +4 / -0 )

yes, 2-1 and the 2 were appointed by Dems. That’s why this one can proceed while the others were thrown out of court. Thanks for asking.

That only took a little over three and a half hours. Way, way too predictable.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Just like that we found the air crews staying at Trump property in Scotland were only 6 percent of total and that Obama DoD, not Trump, authorized It.

in 2017 there were 180 refueling stops with 116 overnight stays , in 2018 there were 257 refueling stops with 208 overnight stays in Scotland, and through August of this year there have been 259 refueling stops with 220 overnight stays

Who became president in 2017?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

They will also note that all politicians are corrupt, especially Dems.

Geez, if all politicians are corrupt, why the comment "especially Dems?"

Far too many on either side are corrupt, and one COULD make the argument that it is "thanks" to corruption that Republicans have so much more money, because without corruption there is no way they could have "honestly" made it!

And on the other side, the Democrats are corrupt, because they made their money, and got their power, off the backs of the very people they are supposed to be representing, meaning from tax-payer dollars!

So now I have gone and pissed off both sides! I am happy!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

In a 2-1 ruling, a three-judge panel of the New York-based 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals set aside a lower court ruling that had thrown out the case because the people who sued could not prove they were harmed by Trump's actions and his role as president.

Yeah, good luck with that. Lol

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

In a 2-1 ruling, a three-judge panel of the New York-based 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals set aside a lower court ruling that had thrown out the case because the people who sued could not prove they were harmed by Trump's actions and his role as president.

Just a guess the 2 Judges were appointed by Clinton or Obama, the case was brought by a bunch of "libtards" who still cant handle their favourite lost the 2016 election, this case will now get rejected in the US Supreme Court.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Yeah, good luck with that. Lol

Corruption is very funny. Especially when your own team can get away with it. Tee hee!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Corruption is very funny. Especially when your own team can get away with it. Tee hee!

Democrats have been getting away with it for years...

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Democrats have been getting away with it for years...

Seems to me that the people who are making comments like this are trying to say, "Two wrongs make a right" or "It the other guy does it it's ok for me too!"

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Democrats have been getting away with it for years...

Infantile response as usual.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Seems to me that the people who are making comments like this are trying to say, "Two wrongs make a right" or "It the other guy does it it's ok for me too!"

No, more like, it’s strange how liberals are silent when liberals commit crimes or alleged ones, but are very critical when it comes to alleged conservative crimes. The hypocrisy is astounding.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Infantile response as usual.

Says the people that whine and complain over every move the President makes.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

No, more like, it’s strange how liberals are silent when liberals commit crimes or alleged ones, but are very critical when it comes to alleged conservative crimes. The hypocrisy is astounding.

Is that like Trump screaming "Lock her up" (Hilary) when she wasn't guilty of a single crime?

Or like the Mueller investigation was a fraud when it roped in so many top level Trump guys?

Says the people that whine and complain over every move the President makes.

And that is what you did during the terms of Obama, for ten years. A prolific poster.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Is that like Trump screaming "Lock her up" (Hilary) when she wasn't guilty of a single crime?

No, except for the 33,000 emails that were deleted, hiding her private server in a restaurant, bleech bit and scrubbing her HD smashing her HD with hammers, if I or you did that with any government document we would be in prison, period! But if you don’t think so, then Trump is equally not guilty of any crime, he wasn’t convicted either. So both are innocent according to our judicial system.

Or like the Mueller investigation was a fraud when it roped in so many top level Trump guys?

But not Trump, that’s all that matters.

And that is what you did during the terms of Obama, for ten years. A prolific poster.

Exactly, What you guys are doing now?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

No, except for the 33,000 emails that were deleted, hiding her private server in a restaurant, bleech bit and scrubbing her HD smashing her HD with hammers, if I or you did that with any government document we would be in prison, period! But if you don’t think so, then Trump is equally not guilty of any crime, he wasn’t convicted either. So both are innocent according to our judicial system.

Hilary was not found guilty of any crime. You can't create fake news like Trump did during his campaign.

Trump wasn't found guilty of a crime but just how many of his top guys are now in court or prison? But you only care that is wasn't Trump who was there.

No, more like, it’s strange how liberals are silent when liberals commit crimes or alleged ones, but are very critical when it comes to alleged conservative crimes. The hypocrisy is astounding.

And that is what you did during the terms of Obama, for ten years. A prolific poster.

Exactly, What you guys are doing now?

Bizarre answer that is a contradiction.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Hilary was not found guilty of any crime.

Neither was Trump. The Russian hoax was a farce.

Trump wasn't found guilty of a crime but just how many of his top guys are now in court or prison?

Thank God for Presidential pardons.

But you only care that is wasn't Trump who was there.

No, I just hate hypocrisy from the left and yes, both sides are guilty of this, but in this case liberals think they are completely untouchable and they’re not.

And that is what you did during the terms of Obama, for ten years. A prolific poster.

Ditto..

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Neither was Trump. The Russian hoax was a farce.

But is wasn't. In fact it was a drag net catching many big fish like General Flynn and a large group of Russian spies too.

Thank God for Presidential pardons.

But he hasn't pardoned anyone?

Contents of the post.

USA Military Air Force planes refuelling at the Scottish airport next to Trump's Turnberry golf club which firstly costs more money for the fuel than at an American base, Secondly, the crew stay at overnight at his club, charged of course. The airport is failing and without it Trump's club is doomed.

Foreign leaders visiting Washington will stay at the Trump hotel hoping it will give them favors.

VP Pence staying at Trump's Irish golf club.

Trump ever so many visits to his Florida club.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Zich:

Is that like Trump screaming "Lock her up" (Hilary) when she wasn't guilty of a single crime?

For her illegal toilet server with government e-mails alone, she would be in jail, if she was not, well, Hillary Clinton, with all the special treatment that entails.

And don´t get me started about her illegal Libya actions...

Or like the Mueller investigation was a fraud when it roped in so many top level Trump guys?

This ridiculous fishing expedition found NOTHING about the Russia hoax, as even the propaganda media now admits. Have you seen the NYT address where the head editor suggests his team should now drop the Russia hoax which failed to work and instead concentrate their narrative on calling Trump a racist? You should watch it. That is straight from the media you seem to believe.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Cripes get a room for heavens sake! That or learn to be and equal opportunity complainer!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

WilliB

it don't change the fact that Hilary Clinton has not been found guilty of any crimes even after a very big investigation.

General Flynn? Manafort? Cohen? Gates? Russian troll farm? Kilimnik?Stone? Papadopoulos?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

For her illegal toilet server with government e-mails alone, she would be in jail, if she was not, well, Hillary Clinton, with all the special treatment that entails.

Um, Trump? Mueller? Russians?

Once again, and as always:

But, you guys!

I find it really weird that you think we would ever take anything you say about Hillary seriously while you concurrently are defending Trump.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

it don't change the fact that Hilary Clinton has not been found guilty of any crimes even after a very big investigation.

Neither will Trump. Liberals are funny, they want to hang this guy so badly and nothing sticks, so they conjure up a false Russian hoax based on a salacious dossier and it all blew up in their faces.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

bass4funkToday  07:32 pm JST

Liberals are funny,

Better to be funny than repetitive and boring.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I hear the "Every politician does ___" for Trump's misdeeds so often that I'm wondering why his supporters think they voted for anyone different or special.

Same with "Obama also failed at _____." Seems they would be rolling their eyes and telling us nothing changed.

I guess they voted for a guy that's just like all the other politicians.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Oh, please, for one thing, he’s not a traditional politician thankfully, he’s a fighter, he’s a disrupter, he’s not afraid to punch back, different, perfect.

Trump is just a businessman trying to be a president and totally lacking in political and diplomatic experience which shows in his outbursts and tweets.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Liberals are funny, they want to hang this guy so badly and nothing sticks, so they conjure up a false Russian hoax based on a salacious dossier and it all blew up in their faces.

Nope.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Everyone knows Trump is corrupt blah blah blah

Everyone knows the USA is better off today than it was 3 years ago. Of course there's still a lot of problems in the Democrat-run cities.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Everyone knows the USA is better off today than it was 3 years ago.

From Putin's perspective, it sure is...

Of course there's still a lot of problems in the Democrat-run cities.

You should take a trip to Mississippi, West Virginia, and Kentucky....all with Repub Governors....

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/best-worst-us-states-172719904.html

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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