In the latest case of presidential harassment, President Trump just beat back both Maryland and D.C. in federal court with decisive victories.
Today on the broadcast, we discussed the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals dismissing a lawsuit filed by Maryland and the District of Columbia alleging that the President violated the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution. The court ruled there was no legal standing to even bring this frivolous lawsuit against President Trump.
The Emoluments Clause is a provision in the Constitution many people probably haven’t ever even heard of. It states:
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.
It was created to prevent political leaders from having conflicts of interests or possibly finding themselves beholden to any foreign governments.
The attorneys general for both Maryland and D.C. argued that since representatives of foreign and state governments stay at the Trump International Hotel, any earnings President Trump received from the hotel violate the emoluments provision.
This isn’t a real case or controversy. Many of our leaders have been successful businessmen before entering politics, and this has never come up. We’re not even convinced these attorneys general even actually cared about the hotel or the Emoluments Clause. This was just a backdoor attempt to get at the President’s financial documents. It’s presidential harassment.
Fortunately the 4th Circuit agreed and dismissed the case with prejudice, meaning it cannot be brought again. In the official opinion, Judge Paul Niemeyer wrote:
Moreover, the likelihood that an injunction barring the President from receiving money from the Hotel would not cause government officials to cease patronizing the Hotel demonstrates a lack of redressability, independently barring a finding of standing. This deficiency was remarkably manifested at oral argument when counsel for the District and Maryland, upon being questioned, was repeatedly unable to articulate the terms of the injunction that the District and Maryland were seeking to redress the alleged violations. When plaintiffs before a court are unable to specify the relief they seek, one must wonder why they came to the court for relief in the first place.
My dad – who serves as Counsel to the President in his private capacity – called in to the show immediately after landing in D.C. and said the decision was “a huge victory” for the President. As he said in a statement:
“Today’s pair of decisions by the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals is a complete victory,” Jay Sekulow, a lawyer for Trump, said in a statement. “This latest effort at presidential harassment has been dismissed with prejudice.”
The 4th Circuit opinion went on to conclude:
The District and Maryland’s interest in enforcing the Emoluments Clauses is so attenuated and abstract that their prosecution of this case readily provokes the question of whether this action against the President is an appropriate use of the courts, which were created to resolve real cases and controversies between the parties.
In other words, essentially, you’ve harassed the President for nothing, you’ve clogged up the court system, and generally wasted everyone’s time.
You can listen to the full episode here.
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