196 Members of Congress Sue Over Emoluments

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, and Members of the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate, announced today their lawsuit against President Trump to enforce the Emoluments Clause of the U.S. Constitution.

Article I, Section 9, ClauseNo 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.

Tulsi said in April at her Hilo townhall she was studying up on Constitution law and now, instead of flailing around with partisian hearings about so called interference, her and her fellow lawmakers have decided that the emoluments clause is a matter for the courts to decide. Since all committees are chaired by Republicans and a majority of the members are Republican, and they have failed to act to claim their own power, democrats are limited in what they can do about this constitutional crisis. Hamstrung by the lack of oversight, this is a legal option to make sure the constitution is complied with in a non-partisian way.

“The American people deserve a president who is a servant leader who they can trust to represent the people’s interests, rather than his or her own. Those who voted for President Trump took him at his word – that having accumulated enough of his own personal wealth, he would be solely focused on serving the American people.” –Rep. Tulsi Gabbard.

Although Trump made some pretense about divestment handing over day-to-day business to his sons, and at first he said he wouldn’t discuss the business with them, the trust allows him to withdraw profits at any time and his sons say they talk to him all the time about it. Both sons have also met with GOP leaders and delved into presidential politics, making the separation even more a sham.

In regards to profits from foreign government at his hotels and properties Trump said he would be donating it to the US Treasury, but not until the end of the year at soonest, and would not be reporting from whom it was recieved, because it would be “impractical” and “diminish the guest experience of our brand.” So there will be no way to tell if Trump is keeping his pledge, as there will not be enough info to know.

It is paramount that President Trump divest himself from his properties, especially those abroad, so Americans can trust that this Administration’s foreign policy decisions are not being influenced by the President’s investments. We need to be assured, for example, that U.S.-Saudi policy is not being influenced by a Trump resort or other investments in that country, rather it is crafted to serve the best interests of the American people.–Rep. Tulsi Gabbard.

This is the third lawsuit to allege this abuse of power, the difference between them is who is suing and whether that have standing in the court.

Standing is the legally protectible stake or interest that an individual has in a dispute
that entitles him to bring the controversy before the court to obtain judicial relief.
Standing, sometimes referred to as standing to sue,
is the name of the federal law doctrine that focuses on whether a prospective plaintiff
can show that some personal legal interest has been invaded by the defendant.
It is not enough that a person is merely interested as a member of the general public in the resolution of the dispute.
The person must have a personal stake in the outcome of the
controversy.
(West’s Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. S.v. “Standing.” Retrieved June 21 2017 from http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Standing)

The first lawsuit was filed 2 days after Trump’s inauguration by the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics or CREW. Their lawsuit argued that they had standing because Trump’s action caused them more work, too flimsy, they have refiled adding restaurant owner from the area alleging they lost business.

Another suit was filed just two days ago by the District of Columbia and the State of Maryland. The district attornies of those states argue that Trump hotel are taking business from state owned convention halls and forcing states to compete against each other to have a new Trump branded hotel built..

Regarding standing in the Congressional lawsuit filed today, House Judiciary member Jerry Nadler said “We are injured by being denied our right to vote on this, that’s our standing,”.

“If President Trump does the right thing by seeking and receiving appropriate congressional approval, stops accepting financial benefits from foreign government officials, and divests himself from his properties, I will withdraw my support from this lawsuit. The people of this country deserve transparency and confidence that the President is acting on their behalf,” — Rep. Tulsi Gabbard.

 

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