AGs to Hit Trump With Subpoenas Targeting More Than 30 Of His Businesses

The attorneys general of DC and Maryland plan to file subpoenas that target more than 30 Trump-related private entities in their case accusing Trump of profiting from the presidency and violating the Constitution’s emoluments clause.

The Maryland AG’s office confirmed the subpoena details to The Associated Press Tuesday as they were preparing them.

“The attorneys general of the District of Columbia and Maryland plan to file subpoenas seeking records from the Trump Organization, the Internal Revenue Service and dozens of other entities in their lawsuit accusing Donald Trump of profiting off the presidency,” the AP reported Tuesday afternoon.

Centered around spending at Trump’s D.C. hotel, the attorney generals are planning to file subpoenas to get records from the Trump Organization, the IRS and other entities, according to the AP.

As the lawsuit focuses more and more on the Trump Hotel, NPR pointed out, “The Trump hotel is the Old Post Office building and is leased from the federal government. The lease with the General Services Administration explicitly says that no elected official of the government of the United States may hold that lease.”

The lawsuit has had a long journey and is historic. It was filed June 12, 2017, by Attorney General Karl Racine and Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh, with White House ethics expert Norm Eisen as one of the co-counsel, accusing Trump of violating the Foreign and Domestic Emoluments Clauses by accepting payments from foreign and domestic governments through his businesses.

After Judge Peter J. Messitte of Maryland allowed a lawsuit to move forward, the filers and Eisen explained in an opinion piece published in the New York Times, “The Foreign Emoluments Clause — specifically, Article I, Section 9, Clause 8 of the Constitution — declares that “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.’”

The point of the suit was that it became the “only avenue for protecting our citizens was to bring this lawsuit — to, as Alexander Hamilton wrote in Federalist 73, protect the country from a president whose business entanglements might allow foreign actors to ‘tempt him by largesses, to surrender at [his] discretion his judgment to their inclinations.’”

U.S. District Court Judge Peter J. Messitte gave the order for discovery on Monday, with the targets to be listed Tuesday.

Donald Trump has given us all a run for our money with his constant assault on norms, ethics, and indeed the law — but there are folks holding the line. The wheels of justice can be slow, but she does keep moving.

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