Thursday, December 6, 2018

UPDATE - Emoluments Clause Lawsuit

Yesterday, headlined tongue in cheek, Elected officials cannot be sued because lawsuits are a ‘distraction’, I posted about the suit working its way through the courts. Attorneys General for Maryland and Washington D. C. are charging Trump with violation of the emoluments clause in the Constitution of the United States. So far they’ve been given the clearance to proceed to discovery. But the DoJ - that’s right, our DoJ - is resisting and we taxpayers get to pay for it.

AZBlueMeanie has an update in Discovery in Emoluments Clause case to be resisted by the Grifter-in-Chief.

Grifter-in-Chief Donald Trump’s lawyers made a desperate last-minute bid over the weekend to block the discovery process in the Emoluments Clause case filed by the Attorneys general of Maryland and the District of Columbia. U.S. District Court Judge Peter Messitte rejected their arguments.

The attorneys general of Maryland and the District of Columbia have wasted no time in seeking discovery. Maryland and District of Columbia Seek Business Records Related to Trump Hotel:

The State of Maryland and the District of Columbia began issuing subpoenas on Tuesday for records related to President Trump’s hotel in Washington, seeking evidence of conflicts of interest that violate the Constitution’s anti-corruption provision.

See Subpoena For Documents (.pdf) to U.S. Department of Commerce (for payments made to Trump International Hotel, etc.), and Subpoena For Documents (.pdf) to DJT Holdings, LLC (for financial records from as many as 13 of President Trump’s private entities, including all state and federal business income tax returns, etc.) Production of documents is due on January 3, 2019.

The subpoenaed documents could lead to depositions with Trump Organization officials.

Their demands for a vast array of documents, including tax records related to the president’s business, are certain to run headlong into a legal challenge by the administration. The Justice Department is expected to contest rulings by a federal judge who allowed the litigation to go forward, and the case appears bound for the Supreme Court.

Now here is where the government’s defense gets interesting.

… before any documents are produced, the Justice Department is expected to ask a federal appeals court and, if necessary, the Supreme Court, to intervene in the case. Justice Department lawyers contend that Judge Peter J. Messitte of United States District Court in Greenbelt, Md., has wrongly interpreted the meaning of the emoluments clauses, construing the bans against corruption far too broadly.

No sh!t. Our government, specifically Trump’s lawyers, will argue to the Supreme Court that some corruption is OK, especially if it’s the president doing it. Perhaps the most important development will be whether the Supreme Court, now with Republicans in the majority, will buy that one.

[Among other claims, the] embassies of Kuwait, Bahrain and the Philippines have held events there [the Trump International Hotel in DC]. Moreover, “a large Malaysian government delegation has used the hotel, and Saudi Arabia has spent at least $270,000 there through its agents,” said Norman L. Eisen, the chairman of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington and a co-counsel for the plaintiffs.

“The president’s violations of the emoluments clause are blatant and ongoing,” he said.

Justice Department attorneys have so far unsuccessfully sought to delay this case and to prevent or at least delay discovery. Americans tax dollars are being wasted on having the U.S. Department of Justice defend this unethical grifter and con man who is profiting from influence peddling in court.

A second Emoluments Clause case, brought by 198 congressional Democrats, could open the president’s company to discovery beyond the D.C. hotel. A district judge in Washington has so far allowed that case to proceed.

The clearest example of foreign emoluments influence peddling is the amount of Saudi money the Trump organization has received resulting in the Trump administration’s cover up of Khashoggi’s killing:

Republican senators emerged from a briefing Tuesday about journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s killing and essentially accused the Trump administration of misleading the country about it — and even covering it up for Saudi Arabia.

Those Senators include Bob Corker and Lindsey Graham.

To be clear, these senators aren’t just accusing the administration of missing the point on Khashoggi; they’re saying they feel misled and that the administration has obscured the truth.

Donald Trump puts his self-dealing financial interests ahead of American national security interests. This makes this Grifter-in-Chief a national security risk. God only knows what all that Russian oligarch money has bought them.

Mueller’s Russia investigation might be the least of Trump’s worries.

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