Arthur J. Villasanta – Fourth Estate Contributor
Washington, Dc, United States (4E) – A United States District Judge in Washington D.C. will allow members of Congress to sue Donald Trump for wantonly violating the anti-corruption Emoluments Clause of the U.S. Constitution.
Judge Emmet Sullivan of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia said lawmakers that brought the lawsuit against Trump have the legal standing to sue the president for allegedly flouting the Constitution’s Emoluments Clause.
Officially called the “Title of Nobility Clause,” the Emoluments Clause is a provision in Article I, Section 9, Clause 8 of the Constitution that restricts members of the government from receiving gifts, emoluments, offices or titles from foreign states without the consent of the United States Congress. The Emoluments Clause is designed to prevent corruption and foreign influence in the three branches of the U.S. federal government.
In his ruling, Sullivan said the provision gives each member of Congress the right to vote before the president accepts a prohibited foreign emolument. “Accordingly, plaintiffs adequately allege that the President has completely nullified their votes,” Sullivan wrote.
“By recognizing that members of congress have standing to sue, the court proved to all in America today that no one is above the law, not even the president,” said Elizabeth Wydra, president of the Constitutional Accountability Center, a Washington-based liberal legal organization representing the lawmakers.
Department of Justice spokeswoman Kelly Laco said the government “will continue to defend the president in court.”
Trump’s lawyers contend the president does not need approval for any foreign patronage of his private businesses while the plaintiff lawmakers say the emoluments clause applies to all foreign compensation, including for services rendered in a private capacity.
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