Judge Says Democratic Lawmakers Can Sue Trump On Emoluments

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A federal judge has ruled that 200 Democratic members of Congress have legal standing to sue President Donald Trump for allegedly violating the emoluments clause of the Constitution by doing business with foreign governments while in office.

The judge ruled that the Democrats have legal standing to sue President Trump, rejecting a challenge from the president.

Trump's attorneys have argued that the president is not in violation of the clause because the money received through his business does not constitute an emolument.

It's another loss for the president who is fighting claims in three courts that he's illegally profiting from his position.

"The Clause requires the President to ask Congress before accepting a prohibited foreign emolument", Sullivan wrote, adding that "the President is accepting prohibited foreign emoluments without asking and without receiving a favorable reply from Congress" if what Democrats are alleging in their lawsuit is true.

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Attorneys for the Trump Organization did not return an immediate request for comment from CNN on Friday night.

In a conference call with reporters Friday evening, Blumenthal called the decision "a major breakthrough" and "a milestone triumph for the rule of law". Trump, however, has granted the administration of his business to his children, which Democrats argue continues to constitute a conflict of interest and an indication that Trump has knowledge of business affairs he is not supposed to.

In his opinion, Sullivan, an appointee of President Bill Clinton, held that the lawsuit was valid because there was no way for the members of Congress who are party to it to address the dispute through other means, such as legislation.

So glad to have worked with @NormEisen, @RWPUSA, and @JoshuaMatz8 to help launch this 3-pronged attack on Trump's #EmolumentsClause violations.

The lawsuit is based on the Constitution's emoluments clause, which bars presidents from taking payments from foreign states.

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Trump began his presidency by choosing - unlike other presidents in recent decades - to keep ownership of his businesses.

Justice Department lawyers argued in court papers that the Democrats suing the president are not being injured by him at all but by their colleagues in Congress, who have refused to take up the emoluments issue.

The judge disagreed in his 58-page ruling.

The media and protesters start to gather in front of the Trump Tower in Vancouver before the inauguration ceremeony for the Trump International Hotel and Tower on February 28, 2017.

U.S. District Judge Peter Messitte in Greenbelt, Maryland, has allowed a similar lawsuit to move forward, but in December 2017 a judge in Manhattan threw out yet another case, which is now on appeal.

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