Federal Judge’s Ruling Allows Emoluments Case Against Trump to Move Forward

On Wednesday, a federal judge ruled against President Trump’s latest attempt to hinder a lawsuit that discusses Trump’s alleged violation of the U.S. Constitution through his continued business transactions with foreign governments. The ruling was made by U.S. District Judge Peter J. Messitte and will enable the plaintiffs, the attorneys general of Maryland and the District of Columbia — to move forward with their lawsuit, which argues that Trump has violated anti-corruption clauses, known as emoluments clauses, in the U.S. Constitution.

The opinion may mark the first time a federal judge interprets and applies those provisions and its limitations to a current president. If the ruling stands, Trump’s businesses may be under scrutiny for its business transactions with foreign governments where Trump received a “profit, gain or advantage.” Though the ruling may be appealed, the plaintiffs want to gain access to Trump’s company records to look into which foreign governments have spent money at Trump’s hotel. They may also ask to review Trump’s tax returns, which he has not made public unlike the other presidents recently in the Oval Office.

Additional Reading:

Federal Judge Allows Emoluments Case Against Trump to ProceedThe Washington Post (July 25, 2018)

The District of Columbia et al v. Trump Opinion

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