Thursday, July 26, 2018

US judge gives green light for trump suit against corruption


The lawsuit against US President Donald Trump, accused of violating the Constitution by keeping his actions at a Washington hotel that hosts foreign government officials, may take its course - according to a federal judge's decision.
It is the first time a judge - Robert Messitte of Maryland - has used the anti-corruption clauses in the Constitution known as "Emoluments clauses" and applies them to an acting president, according to different US media outlets.
This case refers to the profits made by Trump International Hotel, located near the White House. With the decision announced yesterday by Judge Messitte, the matter can move to the evidence gathering stage.
If this is confirmed - the Justice Department can appeal - the plaintiffs are likely to seek financial documents related to the president's business.
Trump has always refused to disclose this information, and in particular, to make his tax return public, something his predecessors in the White House had been accustomed to do.
Emolument clauses prohibit a president from benefiting financially from local and foreign governments.
The plaintiffs - the state of Maryland and the District of Columbia - believe that Trump violates these clauses with his hotel, very popular among official delegations arriving in Washington.
The Justice Department tried to dismiss the suit, claiming that the clauses did not apply to the hotel in question, but that they are designed to prevent a president from accepting bribes, rather than doing business. Judge Mesitte considered that interpretation too narrow.

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