US appeals court rejects Trump bid to escape anti-corruption suit

Lawsuit alleges Trump violated ban on presidents accepting gifts, payments from foreign gov’t without Congress consent.

A flag is waved outside Trump International Hotel during a protest against President Trump [File: Eric Thayer/Reuters]
(Al Jazeera) A United States appeals court has revived a lawsuit accusing President Donald Trump of illegally profiting from the US presidency through payments by foreign governments and domestic states to his hotel in Washington, DC.

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals voted 9-6 to reject President Trump’s bid to block claims by the state of Maryland and the city of Washington, DC, alleging violations of the US Constitution’s anti-corruption provisions.

The lawsuit alleged violations of the constitution’s “emoluments” clauses – rarely tested in courts – that ban a president from accepting gifts or payments from foreign governments without congressional consent. The plaintiffs seek a court order directing the president to divest himself of his interest in the Trump International Hotel.

Fourth Circuit Judge Diana Gribbon Motz, writing for the majority, said the court found the president had not established sufficient legal grounds for dismissal of the case.

“A petitioner must establish a clear and indisputable right to the relief sought for a writ of mandamus to issue, and the President has not done so,” Judge Motz wrote.

Jay Sekulow, a lawyer for President Trump, told Politico that Trump will take the issue to the US Supreme Court.

“We disagree with the decision of the Fourth Circuit,” Sekulow told Politico in a text message.

“This case is another example of presidential harassment. We will be seeking review at the Supreme Court,” Sekulow said.

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About Cholo Brooks 12187 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.