Politics

Liberal AGs Cherry-Pick Slanted Court for Emoluments Suit

'Terribly flawed' anti-Trump case filed in federal court with eight Democrat appointees, one Republican

On Monday the Maryland and Washington, D.C., attorneys general filed a lawsuit in federal court against President Donald Trump for alleged violations of the Emoluments Clause.

The bogus lawsuit reveals the extent to which the Democratic Party have come to rely on partisan, activist judges to push its agenda and waylay that of their opposition.

“The president’s conflict of interests threaten[s] our country,” said Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh claimed during a press conference on Monday. “He continues to take money from foreign governments … He doesn’t seem to understand or care about these violations of the Constitution,” Frosh said.

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“What we are saying [is] the Constitution is being violated,” said Washington, D.C., Attorney General Karl Racine. “This is not a partisan issue,” he insisted.

Most legal experts do not believe the Constitution is being violated in the way claimed in the suit.

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“This case is terribly flawed and has little chance of success, like the closely related lawsuit, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) v. President Trump,” said John-Michael Seibler, a legal fellow at The Heritage Foundation’s Meese Center for Legal and Judicial Studies.

“There are two important points about why the novel and far-reaching constitutional theories in these two lawsuits are flawed,” Seibler told LifeZette. “First, it is doubtful that the Foreign Emoluments Clause applies to the president.”

“Second, even if it the foreign emoluments clause does apply to the president, the U.S. Justice Department explained in its brief against CREW that George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, and possibly James Madison and James Monroe, all operated farms that would have had fair market value transactions with overseas partners during their administrations, and they were all two-term Presidents.

Indeed, the Emoluments Clause states simply that 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.”

The clause prohibits U.S. officeholders from accepting any sort of title of nobility or gift (and therefore potential bribe) from foreign state powers. Implemented in order to prevent U.S. diplomats posted abroad from working to alter government policy on behalf of their foreign hosts, it is difficult to see how it in any way touches upon Trump’s business dealings.

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Liberals have made much of recent reports that consultants at a lobbying firm employed by Saudi Arabia spent $270,000 at the Trump Hotel in Washington, D.C. “We know foreign governments are spending there to curry favor with the President of the United States,” Racine claimed on Monday. “The Saudis are already spending hundreds of thousands of dollars at the Trump Hotel.”

It is a stretch in the extreme to imply that this constitutes President Trump’s receiving an emolument from the Saudi government.

“As Prof. Ron Rotunda, a leading constitutional law expert has pointed out, the Compensation Clause in Article 2, Section 1, Clause 7, does bar the president from taking ’emoluments’ from any state governments, but it is unreasonable to argue, as the state attorneys general do, that the clause is violated ‘when a state official stays at a Trump hotel and pays at the going rate,'” said Seibler.

Given the incredibly shaky ground on which the lawsuit rests, one wonders if and how Frosh and Racine ever believed it had a chance at success. The answer is likely the federal court in which they filed the suit, the United States District Court for the District of Maryland. (go to page 2 to continue reading)[lz_pagination]

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