Donald Trump is barely 2 days in office and he’s already getting ready for his first lawsuit. The respective lawsuit is set to be filled on Monday at 9 AM in the Southern District of New York by an ethics group which includes former White House attorneys and it accuses the newly inaugurated President of allowing his businesses to receive payments from foreign governments.
According to CREW, which is an acronym standing for Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (that is risible on so many levels, I mean prior to Trump’s arrival, DC was something like the Kingdom of Heaven) the lawsuit is aimed at stopping President Donald Trump from violating the Constitution of the United States in what Deepak Gupta, a Supreme Court litigator sees as a breach of the emolument clause.
Gupta alleges that the US Constitution forbids foreign payments to Donald Trump’s businesses and he will seek a court order that will stop The Donald from receiving such payments.
Monday’s lawsuit is just the first in a wave of litigation which is expected to be filled in the future against the President by various liberal advocacy groups. Plaintiffs will include George W Bush’s White House ethics lawyer Richard Painter.
Noah Bookbinder, CREW’s Executive Director said in a statement:
“We did not want to get to this point. It was our hope that President Trump would take the necessary steps to avoid violating the Constitution before he took office, He did not. His constitutional violations are immediate and serious, so we were forced to take legal action.
President Trump has made his slogan ‘America First, So you would think he would want to strictly follow the Constitution’s foreign emoluments clause, since it was written to ensure our government officials are thinking of Americans first, and not foreign governments.”
The litigation emphasizes Trump’s refusal to place his assets into a blind trust or to divest from his businesses, or in laymen’s terms, to separate himself completely from his business empire.
Trump said prior to his inauguration that his sons will be in charge of running the family business in his stead, and they will never conduct any type of foreign deals, while submitting any domestic deals to an ethics review.
CREW claims that due to Trump’s refusal to divest from his businesses, let me quote:
” (He is) now getting cash and favors from foreign governments, through guests and events at his hotels, leases in his buildings, and valuable real estate deals abroad.
When Trump the president sits down to negotiate trade deals with these countries, the American people will have no way of knowing whether he will also be thinking about the profits of Trump the businessman.”
Donald Trump’s lawyers argued that paying for a service, such as a hotel room is not a present nor a gift, having nothing to do with Trump being in office. CREW claims that Donald Trump does business with countries like Indonesia, China or India and if his companies are accepting any type of benefits from the respective countries, these can be regarded as a violation of the Constitution’s Emoluments Clause.
According to the respective clause, anyone holding an “Office” cannot accept emoluments or presents from Princes, Kings or a Foreign State. Emolument meant comfort or benefit back in the day, i.e. a salary in the modern parlance of our time, from providing a service of sorts.
Trump’s son Eric told the Times of Sunday that, let me quote:
“This is purely harassment for political gain,”
Source: The Hill