Justice Department safeguards Trump'' s company with foreign federal governments

Monday, June 11, 2018|9:23 a.m.

GREENBELT, Md.– President Donald Trump’s hotel business did not break the law by working with other nations, a Justice Department lawyer informed a federal judge Monday.

The state of Maryland and the District Columbia have accused Trump of taking advantage of the presidency and triggering harm to local organisations that compete with his Washington hotel.

Monday’s arguments before U.S. District Judge Peter Messitte look into the compound of the Constitution’s “emoluments clause” and what it indicates. The clause bans federal officials from accepting gain from foreign or state governments without congressional approval.

Last March, Messitte ruled that the plaintiffs can proceed with their lawsuit against Trump’s Washington hotel. However he declined their effort to target Trump Organization residential or commercial properties outside of the immediate location.

Trump administration lawyers say such business activity, consisting of hotel room stays, isn’t really an emolument. Justice Department legal representative Brett Shumate on Monday informed Messitte that no federal official would have the ability to own stock from a foreign business that provides earnings or collects royalties if the argument pressed by Maryland and D.C. is accepted.

But attorney generals of the United States for Maryland and DC have declined the federal government’s position.

“This case has to do with the president of the United States making an affirmative choice to use the federal government to enrich himself,” D.C. Chief Law Officer Karl Racine told The Associated Press last week.

The case in Messitte’s court is one of three emoluments claims versus Trump. Recently, a federal judge in the District heard arguments in a claim pushed by more than 200 Democratic legislators. A 3rd case was declined by a federal judge in New york city and is now on appeal.

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