Federal Court Rules Trump Violated the Constitution’s Emoluments Clauses

The Richmond, Virginia-based Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that President Donald Trump violated the Constitution’s emoluments clauses.

The president’s attorneys had tried to preserve the president’s immunity from the lawsuit filed by Democratic attorneys general in Maryland and the District of Columbia, who successfully argued that the president’s ownership of the Trump International Hotel, on Pennsylvania Avenue violates anti-corruption provisions of the U.S. Constitution on the president accepting payments from foreign governments without congressional consent.

And that’s not the end of it for the president: There are two other pending lawsuits concerning the hotel, including one “brought by a group of more than 200 Democratic Party lawmakers,” according to Reuters.

Trump has faced allegations of violating the emoluments clause from the start of his tenure. In January 2017, legal watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) accused him of violating the constitutional provision, “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.”

“As a direct result of [Trump]’s purposeful refusal to acknowledge that he is submerged in conflicts of interest and his purposeful refusal to take precautions necessary to avoid those conflicts,” the organization’s lawsuit alleged, “[he] is now committing and is poised to continue to commit many violations of the Foreign Emoluments Clause — some documented, and others not yet apparent due to the complex and secretive nature of [Trump]’s business holdings — during the opening moments of his presidency and continually thereafter.”