Federal judge dismisses Dem lawsuit over Trump hotel in DC

Federal judge dismisses Dem lawsuit over Trump hotel in DC
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A federal judge on Tuesday dismissed a lawsuit from a group of 17 House Democrats seeking documents related to President TrumpDonald John TrumpGrassley: Dems 'withheld information' on new Kavanaugh allegation Health advocates decry funding transfer over migrant children Groups plan mass walkout in support of Kavanaugh accuser MORE's financial ties to his Washington, D.C., hotel. 

The Democrats, all of whom serve on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, brought the case against the General Services Administration (GSA) in November in order to determine if Trump benefits financially from the hotel. 

U.S. District Judge Amti Mehta wrote the Democrats do not have the legal standing to sue the GSA over this issue. He suggested they turn to other recourses, including congressional action, according to the Wall Street Journal


“The fact that a political remedy is hard to achieve does not automatically swing open the doors to the federal courts,” Mehta wrote, the Journal reported.

The Democrats did not immediately respond to the Journal's request for comment.

They sued in DC's U.S. District Court over the GSA's failure to comply with the obscure "seven-member statute," a 1928 law that mandates federal agencies provide documents requested by more than seven members of the House Oversight Committee, Politico reported in November. 

Democrats had requested documents from the GSA about the hotel's profits and expenses, as well as the agency's communications with the White House. The GSA declined to produce the documents, according to the Journal. 

“This lawsuit is not just about a hotel in Washington D.C.,” Rep. Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsRep. Cummings: Will Kavanaugh take lie detector test and ask for FBI investigation? Graham to renew call for second special counsel Hillicon Valley: Sanders finds perfect target in Amazon | Cyberattacks are new fear 17 years after 9/11 | Firm outs alleged British Airways hackers | Trump to target election interference with sanctions | Apple creating portal for police data requests MORE (D-Md.) said in a statement at the time. “This is about the President defying a federal statute and denying our ability as Members of Congress to fulfill our constitutional duty to act as a check on the Executive Branch.”

Trump's real estate business has been the source of ongoing challenges for the president, with his critics accusing him and his family of continuing to profit off of the Trump Organization. 

The GSA in March of last year determined the hotel was in "full compliance" with rules that prohibit elected officials from holding the lease or receiving benefits from it.