Trump loses bid to halt lawsuit over foreign payments, Latest World News - The New Paper

Trump loses bid to halt lawsuit over foreign payments

This article is more than 12 months old

WASHINGTON : A federal judge has refused to put on hold a lawsuit by about 200 Democratic lawmakers accusing US President Donald Trump of violating an anti-corruption provision of the US Constitution with his private business dealings.

This could pave the way for them to seek some of his financial records.

US District Judge Emmet Sullivan rejected a request by Trump lawyers to halt the case and let them file an expedited appeal of key preliminary rulings he issued against the president.

The lawsuit is one of two brought against Mr Trump accusing him of violating the emoluments clause of the Constitution, which bans US officials from accepting gifts or payments from foreign governments without congressional consent.

The other was brought by the Democratic attorneys-general of Maryland and the District of Columbia.

The ruling allows the plaintiffs, led by Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and including members of the House of Representatives and Senate, to begin seeking records from Mr Trump's real estate company.

The judge's action marked the latest setback Mr Trump has faced in court fights as he defends against efforts by the Democratic-led House to obtain his tax records and other material.

In April, Judge Sullivan issued a 48-page decision that rejected Mr Trump's argument that emoluments were limited essentially to bribes, calling that definition "unpersuasive and inconsistent".

He said the clause should be read more broadly as barring an official from taking any payment of any kind whatsoever from a foreign state without congressional approval.

The case before Judge Sullivan accuses Mr Trump of illegally profiting from his businesses in various ways, including by collecting payments from foreign government officials who stay at his properties and accepting trademark registrations around the world for his company's products. - REUTERS