Judge Gives Democrats Green Light to Sue President for Illegally Profiting From His Office
A Washington judge has finally denied the President's motion to dismiss a lawsuit filed by Democrats concerning the Emoluments clause of the U.S. Constitution prohibiting the President from using his office to enrich himself. Since taking office, Mr. Trump has invited foreign dignitaries to stay at his properties such as his golf resort in New Jersey, his hotel in D.C., and his Mir-A-Lago retreat in Florida, pocketing the proceeds from such visits, while requiring security details at taxpayer expense for every event at each venue. His many foreign business dealings with governments could also now come under more intense scrutiny. And his tax returns may at last be subject to public review as a result of this decision by Federal Judge Emmet Sullivan .
Slate.com: " The Democrat’s suit argues that the Constitution bars the president from taking payment from foreign states “without the consent of Congress.” “Trump has not given Congress any details of these transactions, nor has he asked Congress’s permission for them,” the Washington Post reports. “Trump says he doesn’t need to—by his reckoning, these transactions don’t fit the Founding Fathers’ definition of ‘emoluments.’ They are business deals, he says, not payoffs.” The lack of transparency, Democrats argue, amounts to Trump effectively bypassing congress and the Constitutional requirement of congressional consent. "
In stark contrast to his predecessors, who divested themselves of such holdings so as to avoid conflicts of interest, the President has so far refused to open up his books to the public and has continued to rake in profits from his enterprises. We might at last get a peek into just exactly how corrupt he has been regarding his profiting from his high office. The Emoluments clause of the U.S. Constitution (Article I, Section 9, Paragraph 8) prohibits federal officeholders from receiving any gift, payment, or other thing of value from a foreign state or its rulers, officers, or representatives. The President has casually ignored criticism of doing so. We may finally get to know just how the President's net worth has grown from using his office to attract more business at home and abroad.
If the lawsuit is successful, and if Mr. Trump is compelled to pay back these profits to the taxpayers, the presidency may once again be restored to what it has traditionally been: a public office to serve the voters, as opposed to a marketing branch of a privately held corporation. The latter definition of the presidency has commonly been reserved for despots and dictators.
The President is appealing the ruling.