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Politics Emoluments: Trump's profits from private businesses to get hard look from federal appeals courts

15:50  08 december  2019
15:50  08 december  2019 Source:   usatoday.com

Appeals court refuses to block House subpoena for Trump’s financial records

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The Trump International Hotel in Washington opened just months before Trump took office. The lawsuit alleged that the president profits from This case is not the only emoluments challenge against President Trump . Another federal court is still considering a lawsuit brought by Democratic

A federal appeals court in New York on Friday revived a lawsuit alleging that President Trump is illegally profiting from his hotels and restaurants in New York and Washington in violation of the Constitution’ s anti-corruption, or emoluments , clauses.

WASHINGTON – An obscure provision of the Constitution that Donald Trump ridiculed as "this phony Emoluments Clause" will be debated in two federal appeals courts this week, representing yet another legal threat to the embattled president.

Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie: President Trump asks Supreme Court to block access to his tax returns, setting up separation of powers battle© Provided by USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Satellite Information Network, Inc. President Trump asks Supreme Court to block access to his tax returns, setting up separation of powers battle

Even as impeachment dominates the agenda in Congress and President Trump's personal lawyers ask the Supreme Court to shield his tax returns and financial records from investigators, courts in the District of Columbia and Richmond, Va., will hear arguments that the president routinely receives gifts from foreign and U.S. government officials.

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WASHINGTON — In a legal victory for President Trump , a federal appeals court panel on Wednesday ordered the dismissal of a lawsuit claiming that he had violated the Constitution by collecting profits from government guests at his hotel in the nation’ s capital.

WASHINGTON — A panel of federal appeals court judges on Tuesday sharply challenged the legal basis for a lawsuit alleging that President Trump ’ s profits from his luxury Washington hotel violate the Constitution’s anti-corruption clauses.

Those two challenges and a third working its way through federal courts in New York focus on the Trump Organization's financial stake in hotels and restaurants, which cater to customers both foreign and domestic with interests before the government Trump heads.

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The question: Does that violate the Constitution?

a castle with a clock on the tower of the city: The Trump International Hotel is at the epicenter of lawsuits over President Donald Trump's continued profits from his businesses.© Alex Brandon, AP The Trump International Hotel is at the epicenter of lawsuits over President Donald Trump's continued profits from his businesses. Democrats in Congress, the attorneys general of Maryland and the District of Columbia, and some of Trump's competitors in New York City say the answer is yes. When a foreign official stays at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., or U.S. officials stay at a Trump resort in Scotland, they say, the presidential profits are unconstitutional.

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WASHINGTON — The Justice Department asked a federal appeals court on Monday to throw out or at least temporarily halt a lawsuit that accuses President Trump of illegally benefiting from his family’ s business

A federal appeals court Wednesday sided with President Trump , dismissing a lawsuit claiming the president is illegally profiting from foreign and state government visitors Congressional Democrats’ emoluments lawsuit targeting President Trump ’ s private business can proceed, judge says.

The Justice Department says the answer is no. Its lawyers are telling all three courts that a violation must involve Trump profiting directly from his employment as president, not from "the proceeds of ordinary commercial transactions between foreign governments and businesses."

On Monday, that debate will come before a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The challengers won the first round in federal district court, forcing Trump's appeal.

On Thursday, the debate will shift to the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit, based in Richmond, following earlier decisions that gave each side a victory and a defeat.

For Deepak Gupta, an appellate lawyer who represents challengers in two of the three disputes, increased public understanding of the issue constitutes a victory in itself.

Brian Frosh, Karl Racine are posing for a picture: Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh and District of Columbia Attorney General Karl Racine are among those challenging President Trump's profits from foreign and domestic government officials who use Trump Organization properties.© Alex Brandon, AP Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh and District of Columbia Attorney General Karl Racine are among those challenging President Trump's profits from foreign and domestic government officials who use Trump Organization properties. “When we started this, nobody knew what emoluments were,” Gupta says. Nearly three years later, "it’s entered the lexicon, and it’s part of the debate about impeachment."

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A federal appeals court Wednesday threw out a lawsuit challenging President Donald Trump ' s ownership of a luxury hotel five blocks from the White It was a defeat for Maryland and the District of Columbia, who claimed that his vast holdings presented a conflict between his business profits and

The appeals court on Wednesday did not opine on whether or not Trump had violated the Constitution. Instead, it ruled that even if there Trump stepped away from day-to-day management Trump Organization while in office, but he continues to profit from it under management by his sons

'Obsessed with the possibility of corruption'

a man and a woman sitting on a bench in a suit and tie: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky met with President Donald Trump in New York during the United Nations General Assembly in September.© SAUL LOEB, AFP/Getty Images Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky met with President Donald Trump in New York during the United Nations General Assembly in September.

During the infamous July phone conversation that ignited the House impeachment proceedings, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky went out of his way to note his recent stay at a Trump hotel in New York.

That, challengers say, is a prime example of what Article I, Section 9, Clause 8 of the Constitution bans. The clause is derived from the Latin word "emolumentum," meaning "profit" or "gain." Another prohibition in Article II prohibits the president from receiving domestic emoluments.

"The Framers were obsessed with the possibility of corruption," Gupta says. "They erected a very high wall between the president and entanglements with foreign governments."

It doesn't matter, challengers say, what the intent of the business arrangement is or whether any quid pro quo results. The ban is simply prophylactic.

Appeals court divided over emoluments lawsuit against Trump

  Appeals court divided over emoluments lawsuit against Trump A federal appeals court grappled over how to handle a lawsuit against President Trump that alleges he is violating the constitution's emoluments clauses.The 15 judges on the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals appeared divided over whether to advance a case from the D.C. and Maryland attorneys general accusing the president of illegally profiting off his hotels and other private businesses.

A federal appeals court panel has unanimously thrown out a lawsuit accusing President Donald Trump Trump quickly celebrated the decision and even seemed to adopt the court ’s suggestion that serving As a result, it’s unclear if Trump ’ s firms are disgorging profits from hotel rooms booked by

The decision from the US Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit marks the latest setback for Trump in trying to shake claims that he’ s unconstitutionally profiting from his business He also disagreed that the emoluments clauses were meant to protect private businesses from competition, and wrote that

That doesn't pass the smell test for constitutional scholars who take Trump's side in the debate. Andy Grewal, a University of Iowa College of Law professor who has written on the subject, says such a broad interpretation "would mean that likely every president and thousands of federal officials have violated the Constitution."

When Trump became president, he turned over day-to-day control of the Trump Organization to his eldest sons, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump. But he did not divest himself from the business, which operates worldwide.

Red flags went up in October when the president offered to host an international economic summit at Trump National Doral, his Florida resort, as well as when Vice President Mike Pence stayed at a Trump resort in Ireland.

After a public uproar, Trump announced he wouldn't hold the summit at his resort after all, but he rejected suggestions it would have run afoul of the Constitution.

“You people with this phony Emoluments Clause,” Trump grumbled.

More: Trump to hold G-7 summit at Camp David after reversal on his Doral golf resort

'Vexatious litigation'

Democratic lawmakers and government watchdogs say the most flagrant violations happen when government officials – including some from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Malaysia – spend lavishly at the Trump International Hotel a few blocks from the White House. Trump's real estate company now is considering selling its lease there.

Trump Doesn’t Think Emoluments Clause Is Phony, U.S. Tells Court

  Trump Doesn’t Think Emoluments Clause Is Phony, U.S. Tells Court Though President Donald Trump called the U.S. Constitution’s emoluments clauses “phony” in October, a Justice Department lawyer tried to reassure a federal appeals court that the president doesn’t really believe that. © Photographer: Mark Wilson/Getty Images North America Donald Trump walks to the Oval Office.

RICHMOND — A federal appeals court panel was indisputably hostile Tuesday to a lawsuit accusing President Donald Trump of violating the Constitution by profiting from his business dealings with The arguments in the so-called foreign emoluments case test largely uncharted areas of

After President Trump was elected, the General Services Administration should have reviewed the The Constitution prohibits federal officials from accepting benefits or emoluments from foreign or A federal appeals court will consider this spring whether the lawsuit should be allowed to proceed, a

“The hotel is sort of the epicenter. It’s an emoluments magnet," Gupta says. "They are deliberately attracting foreign government business.”

But Grewal says an emolument that violates the Constitution must be in the form of compensation for services – such as a foreign government hiring Trump to host a new version of The Apprentice, not renting out a few hotel rooms.

Most of the legal fireworks in the three cases have centered on whether challengers have the right to be in court at all. Members of Congress cite the domestic clause's inclusion of the phrase "without the consent of the Congress." Maryland and D.C. officials say Trump's hotel reduces the tax revenue they get from competitors. New York hotels cite unfair competition.

Their courtroom victories have been mixed with defeats, most recently in the 4th Circuit, where a three-judge panel unanimously cited the “paramount necessity of protecting the executive branch from vexatious litigation that might distract it from the energetic performance of its constitutional duties.”

The full appeals court will reconsider that ruling during oral arguments Thursday.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Emoluments: Trump's profits from private businesses to get hard look from federal appeals courts

The US Army's oldest regiment spent at least $26,000 partying at Trump's luxury DC hotel .
The Old Guard ceremonial regiment said it didn't use taxpayer funds for its February 2019 winter ball at their commander-in-chief's luxury hotel. The Old Guard - the 4th battalion of the 3rd US Infantry, which gets its name from being the Army's oldest active-duty regiment - is the president's official escort regiment and performs ceremonial duties, including drum-and-fife shows and keeping vigil at the Tomb of the Unknown Solider in Arlington National Cemetery.

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