Federal Judge Just Ruled That Maryland & DC Emoluments Clause Lawsuit Can Proceed

That didn’t go his way.

President Donald Trump may be a year and a half into his presidency, but his business entanglements have yet to stop haunting him. In a stunning development on Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Peter J. Messitte ruled that plaintiffs suing the President for violation of the enoluments clause have standing to continue with their case.

The Emoluments Clause was relatively obscure until concerns over Trump’s activities with foreign businesses revived it. The clause 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.

However, the Trump Organization and the president’s justice department both claim that the founding fathers intended for the clause to hinder bribes, not business. Messitte appears to disagree. Should the ruling stay in place, the plaintiffs will have unfettered access to businesses under the Trump organization and possibly even to Donald Trump’s tax returns–which he still has yet to release. The plaintiffs are currently seeking interviews with foreign government officials who stayed at Trump’s D.C. hotel–which is located on the site of the Old Post Office, a federal building.

The ruling rekindles the possibility that Trump’s business dealings–which, to many, gave him credibility as a presidential candidate–will end up being his downfall. It’s a possibility many Americans are welcoming.

The case presided over by Judge Messitte is far from the only lawsuit Trump is fighting.

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