Dec. 22 — A federal judge threw out two lawsuits against President Donald Trump on Thursday that accused him of using his office to enrich his businesses.
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington filed suit against Trump on behalf of a group of hospitality workers in January that accused the president of violating the Constitution’s Foreign Emoluments Clause, which prohibits the president from accepting foreign gifts without congressional approval. And because Trump owns hotels where foreign dignitaries sometimes stay, CREW claimed the president was violating the clause…
But U.S. District Judge George Daniels, an appointee of former President Bill Clinton, said the accusation is a political one that should be handled by Congress, not a courtroom.
Daniels also said that even if foreign officials were staying at Trump properties, the emoluments clause is not violated unless Trump himself told them to do so, adding that “it is only natural that interest in his properties has generally increased since he became president.”
One of the earliest, and dumbest, mantras of #TheResistance since Trump won the election was that Trump’s continued business interests violated the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution.
No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State. [ARTICLE I, SECTION 9, CLAUSE 8]
It was at the heart of the efforts to delegitimize Trump supported by the leftist activist group CREW, which used to be run by David Brock. Brock’s replacement as Vice Chair, Richard Painter, is a Twitter star and frequent cable news anti-Trump hothead who plays off his former position as an ethics advisor to George W. Bush.
Law professor Larry Tribe and other anti-Trump law professors, gave a false patina of credence to the claims.
Independent scholar and law lecturer Seth Barrett Tillman, assisted by law professor Josh Blackman submitted historical research as a friend of the court (amicus curiae), arguing that the Emoluments Clause did not apply to the President. That generated it’s own legal community fireworks, as the NY Times reported, ‘Lonely Scholar With Unusual Ideas’ Defends Trump, Igniting Legal Storm.