U.S. court reopens Trump case on foreign earnings at hotel

15 Mai, 2020, 18:48 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • WASHINGTON DC- MAY 14 U.S. President Donald Trump walks to the White House residence after exiting Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals voted 9-6 to reject President Trump's bid to block claims by the state of Maryland and the city of Washington, DC, alleging violations of the US Constitution's anti-corruption provisions.

The lawsuit was originally brought by the District of Columbia and the state of Maryland, which argued that the president violated the emoluments clause when his Washington, D.C. hotel accepted the business of foreign and state governments.

The Foreign Emoluments Clause says no individual holding office can accept a present "of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State" without the approval of Congress.

Without ruling on the contents of the case, a federal appeals court reversed a decision made a year ago by three of its judges who had closed the matter based on procedural issues. That court, however, later agreed to grant an "en banc" hearing - and ultimately decided in a rare full-court ruling Thursday to reverse the dismissal and allow the suit to move forward.

"We recognize that [D.C. and Maryland] press novel legal claims". The three-judge panel ruled that the case had no legal basis because the plaintiffs did not have standing to pursue the case.

The president's son Eric Trump, who is running the company while his father is in the White House, said the discussions were only preliminary and that he was not seeking any special treatment, but the discussions prompted a number of congressional Democrats to ask the GSA whether the company was being considered for relief from its rent payments.

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President Trump lost a court battle Thursday over accusations that he's illegally making money from foreign governments while serving as president.

The six judges who disagreed - all nominated by Republican presidents, including three by Mr Trump - wrote a scathing dissenting opinion, saying the lawsuit should be thrown out.

DOJ spokeswoman Brianna Herlihy said the department was disappointed in the ruling.

One of the clauses states that government office-holders can not "accept" any present, emolument, office, or title from foreign officials.

They also insisted the emoluments clause only bars compensation made in connection with services provided in his official capacity or in "an employment-type relationship" with a foreign or domestic government.

The court did not rule on whether Trump violated the law.

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