01 May 2019
A U.S. federal judge ruled on Tuesday that Democrats in Congress can move forward with a lawsuit accusing President Donald Trump of violating the law by accepting gifts or payments from foreign governments through his businesses.
U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan denied a motion by Trump to dismiss the lawsuit filed by 198 members of Congress. The lawmakers charge the president violated the Constitution’s “emoluments” clause, which prevents federal officeholders from accepting payments from foreign governments without the “consent” of Congress.
The constitutional provision is designed to prevent corruption and foreign influence.
Sullivan said in his 48-page decision that he found Trump’s attempt to narrowly define the emoluments clause to be “unpersuasive and inconsistent.”
He said he agreed with congressional Democrats who brought the case that the clause should be read more broadly as barring an official from taking any payment of any kind whatsoever from a foreign state without congressional approval.
Justice Department spokeswoman Kelly Laco said: “As we argued, we believe this case should be dismissed, and we will continue to defend the President in court.”
By Eric Beech and David Alexander, Reuters, 30 April 2019
Read more at Reuters
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