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Ian McColgin
01-23-2017, 11:39 AM
[IMc - It will be interesting to see if the court even accepts this.]

Published on Monday, January 23, 2017, by Common Dreams

President Trump Sued Over 'Immediate and Serious' Constitutional Violations
Prominent constitutional and ethics scholars launch legal action for overstepping Emoluments Clause

by Lauren McCauley, staff writer

It is his first Monday in office and U.S. President Donald Trump is being sued.

A team of prominent constitutional and ethics scholars filed the legal action with the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of New York early Monday, charging the billionaire real estate mogul with violating the constitutional clause that disallows officials from accepting benefits or gifts from foreign governments.

"We did not want to get to this point. It was our hope that President Trump would take the necessary steps to avoid violating the Constitution before he took office," said Noah Bookbinder, executive director of the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), which launched the suit. "He did not. His constitutional violations are immediate and serious, so we were forced to take legal action."

Trump's refusal to divest from his business has left him in a position where he is receiving "cash and favors from foreign governments, through guests and events at his hotels, leases in his buildings, and valuable real estate deals abroad," CREW explains.

As Politico's Josh Gerstein observes, "by filing in Manhattan, the suit geographically targets the Trump buildings in that New York borough. The complaint zeroes in on Trump Tower leases held by the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, a state-run bank, and the Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority, which is part of the government of the United Arab Emirates."

Further, NBC notes that the suit is also taking issue with foreign bookings at Trump's Washington, D.C. hotel and "[p]ayments from foreign-government-owned broadcasters related to "The Apprentice" and other transactions and leases at a broad array of other establishments owned or licensed by Trump."

As CREW notes, "When Trump the president sits down to negotiate trade deals with these countries, the American people will have no way of knowing whether he will also be thinking about the profits of Trump the businessman."

What's more, it appears that the new president has not even followed through on his promise to transfer control of his business empire to his grown sons. According to a new investigation by ProPublica, as of Friday, the paperwork to relinquish the Trump Organization had not even been filed.

Trump's legal team has also said that he would "voluntarily donate all profits from foreign government payments made to his hotels to the United States Treasury," but the lawsuit points out that "if there are foreign government profits at stake, the president can't legally accept them in the first place," NBC further noted.

"President Trump has made his slogan 'America First,'" said Bookbinder, referencing Trump's oft-repeated campaign slogan and inaugural speech. "So you would think he would want to strictly follow the Constitution's foreign emoluments clause, since it was written to ensure our government officials are thinking of Americans first, and not foreign governments."

As the Emoluments Clause states: "no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust ... 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."

CREW is being represented in the suit by the organization's board chair and vice-chair Norman Eisen and Richard Painter, who also served as the top ethics lawyers for the last two presidents, as well as constitutional law scholars Erwin Chemerinsky, Laurence H. Tribe, and Zephyr Teachout, and Deepak Gupta of Gupta Wessler PLLC.

After his inauguration on Friday, CREW also filed a complaint with the General Services Administration (GSA) specifically over the illegal conflicts presented by the lease agreement for the Trump International Hotel, which resides in the government-owned Old Post Office building.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License

John Smith
01-23-2017, 11:43 AM
It gets interestinger and interestinger. I think that should be a word

Peerie Maa
01-23-2017, 11:43 AM
He'll draw down some cash from his charitable foundation to settle out of court. ;)

David G
01-23-2017, 11:48 AM
Couldn't happen to a nicer fella.

I doubt these people are in it for a dollar settlement. They want his slimebaggery exposed and rectified. Possibly they also dream of him being removed from office.

Too Little Time
01-23-2017, 12:05 PM
First issue is standing. I noticed something about the "consent of Congress" in the constitutional quote. I think that gives Congress standing. I find the following easy reading.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2016/11/21/the-emoluments-clause-is-donald-trump-violating-its-letter-or-spirit/?utm_term=.0f8b1d5b4669

Chip-skiff
01-23-2017, 12:38 PM
"Standing" in a federal case on broad constitutional questions is defined somewhat differently than in tort law cases under state statutes. I wouldn't think there's much question that most citizens would be harmed by having a president on the take.

https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/standing

This is only the initial response to Mr. Trump's explicit disdain for ethical constraint. He's refused to show his tax returns, verbally transferred some of his interests to close relatives (while appointing his son-in-law to a White House post) without much in the way of supporting paperwork, and generally treated the law with contempt. The attorneys of record are heavy hitters, both Republicans and Democrats, with strong legal credentials: not a bunch of whackjobs.

The legal team filing the lawsuit includes Laurence H. Tribe (http://hls.harvard.edu/faculty/directory/10899/Tribe), a Harvard constitutional scholar; Norman L. Eisen (https://www.brookings.edu/experts/norman-eisen/), an Obama administration ethics lawyer; and Erwin Chemerinsky (http://www.law.uci.edu/faculty/full-time/chemerinsky/), the dean of the law school at the University of California, Irvine. Among the others are Richard W. Painter (https://www.law.umn.edu/profiles/richard-w-painter), an ethics counsel in the administration of George W. Bush; Mr. Gupta (http://guptawessler.com/people/deepak-gupta/), a Supreme Court litigator who has three cases pending before the court; and Zephyr Teachout (https://www.fordham.edu/info/23186/zephyr_teachout), a Fordham University law professor and former congressional candidate who has been studying and writing about the Emoluments Clause for nearly a decade.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/22/us/politics/trump-foreign-payments-constitution-lawsuit.html?_r=0

bobbys
01-23-2017, 12:42 PM
It's not about the law, it's about a " gotcha". Political maneuver..

Ian McColgin
01-23-2017, 01:09 PM
Nonsense. It is about law. But clever as the litigators are, both standing and jurisdiction are very serious problems with interesting arguments (we've only seen the prosecution but the defense is readily imagined) on both sides.

If the suit is tossed for want of standing or jurisdiction, it places the substance foursquare on congress to either begin impeachment proceedings or vote to refuse.

Daniel Noyes
01-23-2017, 01:13 PM
It's not about the law, it's about a " gotcha". Political maneuver..

SOOO True, more partisan pandering funded by major Multi National Corporations like Monsanto, Disney and Apple... the 1%ers are gunning for Trumpy!

Chip-skiff
01-23-2017, 01:15 PM
If it reaches the oral argument stage, I'll be interested in seeing who turns down the honor of representing Trump. Would he be represented by his lead White House counsel? Some Trump Corp litigator?

It'll also might be a race against time to see whether he can get a RWW judge confirmed for the Supreme Court in time to hear the case.

cglynn
01-23-2017, 01:20 PM
Turn about is fair play right? Say it with me now. Chant it even....

LOCK HIM UP....LOCK HIM UP....LOCK HIM UP.

Chris Smith porter maine
01-23-2017, 01:30 PM
I think we will see lots of these cases over the next few years, every time he negotiates with a country he owns property in or does business in he is open for such litigation.

TomF
01-23-2017, 02:49 PM
SOOO True, more partisan pandering funded by major Multi National Corporations like Monsanto, Disney and Apple... the 1%ers are gunning for Trumpy!Trump is a 1%er. His cabinet is stuffed with them too. Your gold-plated Trump defines the breed, yet you have somehow confused him with someone who's poor.

All that's poor is his character and taste.

elf
01-23-2017, 02:50 PM
There's still a small matter of the DC Trump hotel.

skuthorp
01-23-2017, 03:15 PM
Making news in Aus. along with the TPP withdrawal.

Too Little Time
01-23-2017, 03:41 PM
Trump is a 1%er. His cabinet is stuffed with them too. Your gold-plated Trump defines the breed, yet you have somehow confused him with someone who's poor.

All that's poor is his character and taste.
I believe Trump in in the .01%.

Gib Etheridge
01-23-2017, 03:48 PM
Do I remember correctly that the bloody reptile already has 1500 cases pending for not having paid his contractors?

switters
01-23-2017, 03:50 PM
I was wondering what the Las Vegas over/under is on his impeachment. To the googles!

The short story is 50/50 before the end of his term.

A few paragraphs though were pretty good reading, and non partisan, explaining why the odds are 50/50.

http://theantimedia.org/betting-odds-trump-impeached/

jack grebe
01-23-2017, 03:56 PM
It's going to go nowhere. It is nothing more than a nuisance lawsuit.

Trumps lawyers are masters at dragging these things on.

Garret
01-23-2017, 04:36 PM
It's not about the law, it's about a " gotcha". Political maneuver..

The 2 main people are attorneys. One was the "ethics czar" for Obama & the other was counsel to George W Bush, specializing in ethics (W's main ethics guy).

These people are non-partisan & have gone after people on both sides of the aisle. However, I get that your guy is above the law in your mind.

Here are some of their suits (from their own site) - including one against the EPA & several against the Dept. of Justice: http://www.citizensforethics.org/legal/lawsuits/

skuthorp
01-23-2017, 04:54 PM
Given the way Trump has, and is loading the bases I doubt these things will go anywhere for as long as Don. is the Pres.

Cuyahoga Chuck
01-23-2017, 08:44 PM
It's not about the law, it's about a " gotcha". Political maneuver..

You ain't much on "law and order", are you?
'Figures!

kelso
01-23-2017, 11:47 PM
You ain't much on "law and order", are you?
'Figures!

He's probably of the macaroni and cheese law and order on isle #3 sort: 'Here's your payoff, deputy, now get!'

kelso
01-23-2017, 11:48 PM
You ain't much on "law and order", are you?
'Figures!

He's probably of the macaroni and cheese law and order on isle #3 sort: 'Here's your payoff, deputy, now git!'

Too Little Time
01-24-2017, 11:37 AM
The 2 main people are attorneys. One was the "ethics czar" for Obama & the other was counsel to George W Bush, specializing in ethics (W's main ethics guy).

These people are non-partisan & have gone after people on both sides of the aisle. However, I get that your guy is above the law in your mind.

Here are some of their suits (from their own site) - including one against the EPA & several against the Dept. of Justice: http://www.citizensforethics.org/legal/lawsuits/
I listened to one of those fellows on NPR yesterday. He said that gaining standing was not a slam dunk. But he was articulate and seemed to have a reasonable argument for their actions.

The fact that this legal action is their day to day business seems to work against a claim of damages.

We will see.

Garret
01-24-2017, 12:27 PM
I listened to one of those fellows on NPR yesterday. He said that gaining standing was not a slam dunk. But he was articulate and seemed to have a reasonable argument for their actions.

The fact that this legal action is their day to day business seems to work against a claim of damages.

We will see.

I heard that interview as well. It's not about claiming damages, but about preventing conflicts of interest - the largest issue being the emoluments clause in the constitution.

Gerarddm
01-24-2017, 12:29 PM
The first of many lawsuits, I think. His White House Counsel is going to earn their pay.

Garret
01-24-2017, 12:32 PM
The first of many lawsuits, I think. His White House Counsel is going to earn their pay.

The one I mention is a constitutional issue - so it may be different from others. Certainly different than all the "you owe me money for work I did for you" suits from his various companies.

I'm expecting to see plenty of the "it's all about the constitution" folks try to spin his getting $ from foreign leaders.

ron ll
01-24-2017, 12:44 PM
Maybe perjury will be his downfall. Seems truth is a concept not familiar to him.

bobbys
01-24-2017, 12:50 PM
You ain't much on "law and order", are you?
'Figures!
.

Did you notice he had only been in for a few days?

Too Little Time
01-24-2017, 12:54 PM
I heard that interview as well. It's not about claiming damages, but about preventing conflicts of interest - the largest issue being the emoluments clause in the constitution.
You need to have suffered some damages to have standing. The speaker explained the damages they suffered.

Cuyahoga Chuck
01-24-2017, 12:56 PM
I listened to one of those fellows on NPR yesterday. He said that gaining standing was not a slam dunk. But he was articulate and seemed to have a reasonable argument for their actions.

The fact that this legal action is their day to day business seems to work against a claim of damages.

We will see.

What make you think they are suing for damages? These guys are not a couple of run of the mill ambulance chasers.

Garret
01-24-2017, 01:29 PM
You need to have suffered some damages to have standing. The speaker explained the damages they suffered.

It's not anyone in particular that suffers damages, it's the entire country. For example: if Trump is negotiating a trade deal with China & the Chinese representatives say "What if we agree to have all our people stay at your hotel when they come to Washington?" or "What if we charge no export fees on your ties that are made in China?" - how do we know that he's negotiating for the country's best interests & not his own?

CREW & others have been talking about this ever since Trump was nominated & even more since he got elected. This is a very real problem!

David G
01-24-2017, 01:38 PM
I see that tlt is just as knowledgeable about legal matters as he is about most things.

Godspeed to the plaintiffs.

Too Little Time
01-25-2017, 02:19 PM
What make you think they are suing for damages? These guys are not a couple of run of the mill ambulance chasers.
THe following is typical of the discussion I have read.


Rules around standing require Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (http://www.citizensforethics.org/press-release/crew-sues-trump-emoluments/), which filed the much-publicized legal action against Trump, to show that the group has suffered a concrete injury by the president’s failure to sever business ties ― a decision the organization claims violates the foreign emoluments clause, which forbids accepting anything that may amount to a bribe from a foreign government.
Without that showing, U.S. District Judge Ronnie Abrams would have no option but to dismiss the case — no matter how meritorious the underlying constitutional issue may be. The Supreme Court, for one, has never clarified the meaning of the clause.


To clear the standing hurdle, the lawsuit says (http://s3.amazonaws.com/storage.citizensforethics.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/23140054/CREW-DJT-Final.pdf) that CREW is experiencing a drain on its resources: fielding hundreds of inquiries from the media, educating the public, conducting legal research and even hiring a senior attorney to help it carry out its mission (http://www.citizensforethics.org/who-we-are/) in the Trump era.
They are not suing for damages. But they do need to show they had damages ("concrete injury" in the quote).

Those guys seem to be "special" ambulance chasers.

Cuyahoga Chuck
01-25-2017, 09:17 PM
THe following is typical of the discussion I have read.


They are not suing for damages. But they do need to show they had damages ("concrete injury" in the quote).

Those guys seem to be "special" ambulance chasers.

The Emoluments Clause has never been tested in court as far as I know. And if it makes it to the SCOTUS the justice installed by Trump may have to recuse himself. So what is likely to happen with a 4-4 is anybody's guess. Should make good theater, tho'.

bobbys
01-25-2017, 09:32 PM
One of the lawyers was on fox.

He was idenified as a occupy Wall Street lawyer.

He said he and the other lawyers were non partisan.

However the one they said was conservitive had a record of being anti trump.

Just a liberal partisan group trying to take down a republican president.

johnw
01-25-2017, 10:06 PM
One of the lawyers was on fox.

He was idenified as a occupy Wall Street lawyer.

He said he and the other lawyers were non partisan.

However the one they said was conservitive had a record of being anti trump.

Just a liberal partisan group trying to take down a republican president.

Who was it?