On January 23—three days after taking office—President Trump faced his first ethics lawsuit as president. (He has faced many such lawsuits as a private citizen.) Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed a complaint against the President, claiming that his extensive business ties violate the Constitution. Specifically, the lawsuit alleges that the President has violated the Emoluments Clause, a constitutional limit on U.S. officials accepting foreign gifts. The Founders inserted this provision to prevent foreign officials from influencing U.S. officials.
President Trump resigned from his businesses on January 19, yet has so far refused to sell them. The resignation by itself fails to fix what some call “unprecedented conflicts.” Instead he has repeatedly asserted that Presidents cannot have conflicts of interest. Yet on January 20, he took an oath to uphold the Constitution, including of course the Emoluments Clause.
The CREW lawsuit does not seek a financial reward. Instead, the organization asks for a legal opinion declaring President Trump in violation of the Constitution and stopping him from doing so in the future (presumably by divesting all of his business interests). The President has so far dismissed the case as being without merit.
What do you think? Will the CREW Lawsuit Force President Trump to Divest His Assets?
* * *If you would like more information or would like to speak to a member of Constantine Cannon’s whistleblower lawyer team, please click here.