Judge allows Trump to appeal Democrats' emoluments lawsuit

President TrumpDonald John TrumpSchiff blasts Trump for making 'false claims' about Russia intel: 'You've betrayed America. Again.' Poll: Sanders leads 2020 Democratic field with 28 percent, followed by Warren and Biden More than 6 in 10 expect Trump to be reelected: poll MORE can appeal a lawsuit filed by more than 200 congressional Democrats accusing him of violating the Emoluments Clause by taking payments from foreign governments, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.

District Judge Emmet Sullivan had previously denied a motion to allow the appeals court to review his prior rulings that the case may proceed, but a federal appeals court in July ruled that Sullivan’s finding was in error.


Sullivan, a Clinton appointee, noted in his ruling Wednesday that such midcase appeals are justified in cases involving “substantial ground for difference of opinion,” which the appeals court suggested there was. Lawyers for Trump have argued the plaintiffs in the case lack legal standing to sue him.

“The Court is persuaded that the plaintiffs’ proposals to forgo discovery and/or engage in expedited summary judgment briefing would be inconsistent with the remans order from the D.C. Circuit,” Sullivan wrote.

Under Sullivan’s ruling, the discovery process, which the Democratic plaintiffs hoped to use to subpoena 37 of Trump's businesses, will remain on hold after he halted it in July in response to the appeals court ruling.

The Justice Department has argued that individual lawmakers cannot sue in such cases.

Two other cases accusing the president of violating the Emoluments Clause, which bars federal officeholders from receiving gifts or payments from foreign states, have already been dismissed. The courts found that neither the attorneys general of Maryland and Washington, D.C., nor a nonprofit watchdog group had legal standing to sue.

The attorneys general have vowed to appeal.

Updated at 5 p.m.