President Trump is still winning even though he is not in the cesspool also known as Washington D.C.. In a stunning ruling, the Supreme Court tossed two lawsuits accusing Trump of violating the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution on Monday, ending a roughly four-year legal battle over the former president’s businesses.
One of those lawsuits was filed in 2017, the day after his legal inauguration, by a watchdog group called Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW). Then later in the year, the attorney’s general of both the District of Columbia and Maryland brought similar lawsuits. According to the lawsuits, they claimed that Trump violated the Emoluments Clause prohibition against foreign bribes, which prohibits elected office-holders from receiving payments of any kind from foreign agents without the approval of Congress.
The plaintiffs argued that every time a foreign dignitary or an official stayed at a Trump Hotel that was an unauthorized payment.
It is a bit of a stretch but the cases were allowed to move forward until now.
Here is more from Bloomberg Law:
The U.S. Supreme Court ordered the formal dismissal of two lawsuits that accused Donald Trump of unconstitutionally profiting from his presidency.
The cases no longer had any practical consequences after Trump’s term in office ended Jan. 20, and both sides agreed the disputes had become legally moot.
Those suing Trump included hotels, restaurants, and the attorney general of Maryland, and the District of Columbia. They said Trump as president benefited from a stream of foreign and state government officials who patronized his properties, including the Trump International Hotel in Washington, a few blocks from the White House.
The lawsuits accused Trump of violating the Constitution’s two emoluments clauses. One clause bars a president from accepting benefits from foreign governments without congressional consent, while the other bars receipt of any benefit other than a salary from the U.S. government or a state.
“This important litigation made the American people aware for four years of the pervasive corruption that came from a president maintaining a global business and taking benefits and payments from foreign and domestic governments,” said Noah Bookbinder, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a watchdog group involved in one of the suits.
QuickTake archive: Trump’s Business Ties and the Problem With Emoluments
A key question was who, if anyone, could sue to enforce the emoluments clauses. As part of its order Monday, the Supreme Court set aside federal appeals court rulings that had let the suits proceed, taking a step urged by Trump’s Justice Department. The Supreme Court gave no explanation, and no justice publicly dissented.
Thankfully, these cases were thrown out or they would have set a dangerous precedent for anyone in the future.