Judge dismisses lawsuit against Trump over Emoluments Clause

Judge dismisses lawsuit against Trump over Emoluments Clause
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A federal judge on Thursday dismissed a lawsuit from a liberal watchdog organization arguing President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump reversed course on flavored e-cigarette ban over fear of job losses: report Trump to award National Medal of Arts to actor Jon Voight Sondland notified Trump officials of investigation push ahead of Ukraine call: report MORE is violating the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution by paying foreign governments.

Judge George Daniels dismissed the case on “lack of standing,” agreeing with Trump’s lawyers’ argument that the claims do not fall within the interests of the Emoluments Clause, and should be resolved through the “political process," according to the ruling.

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Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed a lawsuit earlier this year claiming that because Trump has not fully divested from his businesses, he is receiving “cash and favors from foreign governments, through guests and events at his hotels, leases in his buildings, and valuable real estate deals abroad.” 

As a result, the group argued, Trump was in violation of the Emoluments Clause, which prevents elected officials from receiving gifts or benefits from foreign governments without Congress’s approval.

“While today’s ruling is a setback, we will not walk away from this serious and ongoing constitutional violation. The Constitution is explicit on these issues, and the president is clearly in violation,” CREW said Thursday in a statement.

“We respectfully disagree with the district court’s decision. There is no question that there will be an appeal, and our legal team is in the process of exploring our next steps," said Deepak Gupta, the counsel for the plaintiffs.

Trump’s lawyers moved to dismiss the case in September.

Trump has said his business interests will be put in a blind trust and managed by his sons, Donald Trump Jr.Donald (Don) John TrumpConservatives seek to stifle new 'alt-right' movement steeped in anti-Semitism Resistance or unhinged behavior? Partisan hatred reaches Trump's family George Conway and Trump Jr. trade personal insults during impeachment hearing MORE and Eric TrumpEric Frederick TrumpResistance or unhinged behavior? Partisan hatred reaches Trump's family The Memo: Debate over style vs. substance shadows impeachment hearings Trump hotel sales brochure touts 'tremendous upside potential' of government-related business: report MORE.

Critics and watchdog groups have expressed concern that foreign officials can patronize Trump’s businesses to curry favor with the president.

Updated: 6:34 p.m.