President Donald Trump’s administration took another hit this week, as a judge ruled in favor of Sen. Richard Blumenthal and other lawmakers who allege that his businesses are in violation of federal mandates.
A U.S. District Court judge ruled against the president’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit this week that claims his businesses are in violation of the Constitution’s ban on gifts or payments from foreign governments. The lawsuit was brought by the Connecticut Senator and 200 other members of the Senate and House of Representatives.
The lawsuit alleges that Trump’s businesses are in violation of the Constitution’s emoluments clause, because they’ve hosted foreign officials and events. According to reports, the ruling could pave the way for investigators to seek financial information from the president’s organization, including tax return information.
The emoluments clause “prohibits the federal government from granting titles of nobility, and restricts members of the government from receiving gifts, emoluments, offices or titles from foreign states and monarchies without the consent of the United States Congress."
The president’s attorneys had argued that any benefits received would only be considered emoluments if the payments were received in Trump’s official capacity as president.
“This decision is a tremendous victory and vindication of a common sense reading of the Constitution,” Blumenthal said in a statement on Tuesday following the ruling. “In an extraordinarily well-reasoned opinion, the court soundly rejected the president’s absurd argument that he is above the law.
“This decision is a tremendous victory and vindication of a common sense of the Constitution. In an extraordinarily well-reasoned opinion, the court soundly rejected the president’s absurd argument that he is above the law.”
Blumenthal added, “the next step should be discovery and full disclosure.”
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