Judge dismisses lawsuit against Trump over Emoluments Clause

Judge throws out ethics case against President Trump

Pool via CNN video

A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit Thursday alleging that President Trump violated the Constitution's emoluments clause because his hotels and restaurants do business with foreign governments while he is in office.

Daniels ruled that CREW lacked standing because it could not point to an injury it suffered due to the alleged constitutional violation and that the hospitality industry-related plaintiffs could not show that their claim of "competitor standing" could be redressed by the court - or even that the emoluments clauses were meant to protect competitors.

The judge dismissed a lawsuit that alleged the president benefits when his properties do business with foreign governments.

But Judge George Daniels of the Southern District of NY ruled that the plaintiffs, led by the government watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), lacked standing to bring such a case, saying it was up to Congress to prevent the president from accepting emoluments.

"This case involves a conflict between Congress and the president in which this court should not interfere unless and until Congress has asserted its authority", according to Daniels' ruling.

Freezing rain and snow in the forecast Thursday
But, while it will be a lot colder than what we've seen lately, it won't be too far off what's typical for this time of the year. The mountain foothills could see 4 to 6 inches of new snow, with a couple of inches around the Billings area.

But U.S. District Judge George Daniels, an appointee of former President Bill Clinton, said the accusation is a political one that should be handled by Congress, not a courtroom. There are still other ongoing Emoluments cases out of the reach of Daniels. But the judge found that ultimately the case was a matter for the Congress.

Critics and watchdog groups have expressed concern that foreign officials can patronize Trump's businesses to curry favor with the president. "If Congress determines that an infringement has occurred, it is up to Congress to decide whether to challenge or acquiesce to Defendant's conduct".

"The Constitution's emoluments clauses are core protections against destabilizing foreign and domestic corruption", CREW Executive Director Noah Bookbinder said in a statement.

US Department of Justice lawyers representing Trump argued the clause was not meant to apply to commerce. He cited the first Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton, who in 1793, left out the president, vice president and others from a 90-page list of civil office holders and United States employees.

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