Judge Tosses Emoluments Clause Lawsuit Against Trump Over Business Ties - NBC New York

Judge Tosses Emoluments Clause Lawsuit Against Trump Over Business Ties

The lawsuit earlier this year alleged that Trump's "vast, complicated, and secret" business interests were creating conflicts of interest

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    Judge Tosses Emoluments Clause Lawsuit Against Trump Over Business Ties
    Alex Brandon/AP
    FILE - The Trump International Hotel at 1100 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C., Dec. 21, 2016.

    Restaurant workers, a hotel event booker and a watchdog group who say President Donald Trump has business conflicts that violate the Constitution cannot sue him, a New York judge ruled Thursday.

    U.S. District Judge George Daniels said it was too soon for the lawsuit to be considered by the courts, particularly because Congress had not considered the issue.

    The lawsuit earlier this year alleged that Trump's "vast, complicated, and secret" business interests were creating conflicts of interest. It claimed the business ties violated the Constitution's ban against taking foreign gifts and money without Congress' permission, including for hotel stays or office leases.

    Trump had called the lawsuit "totally without merit" while aides to the Republican president dismissed it as politically motivated.

    Death Toll, Damages Climb From Typhoon Hagibis

    [NATL] Death Toll, Damages Climb From Typhoon Hagibis

    The death toll from Typhoon Hagibis climbed to 53 on Tuesday, days after it tore through Japan and left hundreds of thousands of homes wrecked, flooded or out of power. Hagibis caused more than 200 rivers to overflow when it hit the island nation on Saturday.

    (Published Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019)

    Justice Department lawyers had argued that the plaintiffs did not suffer in any way and had no standing to sue, and that it is unconstitutional to sue the president in his official capacity.

    Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington originally brought the lawsuit. It was later joined by Restaurant Opportunities Centers United Inc. and two individuals in the hotel industry.

    "While today's ruling is a setback, we will not walk away from this serious and ongoing constitutional violation," said Noah Bookbinder, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics. "The Constitution is explicit on these issues, and the president is clearly in violation. Our legal team is weighing its options and will soon lay out our decisions on how to proceed."

    The lawsuit cited the little-known domestic and foreign emoluments clauses of the U.S. Constitution.

    Trump has made appearances at his resorts, golf clubs and a hotel in Washington frequently since he was sworn in as president in January.

    Other lawsuits have made similar claims, including a lawsuit in Washington by the attorneys general of Maryland and the District of Columbia.

    Quadruple Murder Suspect Brings Body to Police Station

    [NATL] Quadruple Murder Suspect Brings Body to Police Station

    A Roseville, California, man is in custody after he turned himself in to police in connection to a quadruple homicide.  The body of one of his victims was in the car he drove to the police station in Mount Shasta, more than 200 miles away from the original Roseville crime scene.

    (Published Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019)

    In his ruling, Daniels said the intended purpose of the foreign emoluments clause was to prevent official corruption and foreign influence. He said the purpose of the domestic emoluments clause was to ensure presidential independence.

    Daniels noted that with Congressional consent, the Constitution allows federal officials to accept foreign gifts and emoluments regardless of its effect on competition.

    "There is simply no basis to conclude that the hospitality plaintiffs' alleged competitive injury falls within the zone of interests that the Emoluments Clauses sought to protect," the judge wrote.