D.C. and Maryland v. Trump
|D.C. and Maryland v. Trump|
|United States District Court for the District of Maryland|
|Date decided||Pending (filed June 12, 2017)|
|Judge sitting||Peter Jo Messitte|
|Counsel for plaintiff(s)||Natalie O Ludaway|
Steven M Sullivan
|Plaintiff(s)||The District of Columbia|
The State of Maryland
D.C. and Maryland v. Trump is a lawsuit filed on June 12, 2017 in the United States District Court for the District of Maryland. The plaintiffs, the U.S. state of Maryland and the District of Columbia, allege that the defendant, President Donald Trump, has violated the Foreign Emoluments Clause of the United States Constitution by accepting gifts from foreign governments. The lawsuit was filed by D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine and Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh.
The suit alleges that Trump has committed "unprecedented constitutional violations" by not disentangling his business interests from his presidential responsibilities. The attorneys general cited the Trump International Hotel's effect on business in the Washington D.C. area as one reason for filing the lawsuit. The suit seeks an injunction to stop Trump from violating the emoluments clause of the Constitution. The attorneys general stated they will seek Trump's tax returns as part of their case.
The Maryland filing follows a lawsuit filed in January 2017 by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, CREW v. Trump, which also alleged that Trump has violated the emoluments clause. The D.C. and Maryland lawsuit is the first time a government entity has sued a president for violating the clause.
In response to the lawsuit on the day of the filing, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer stated that the president was not in violation of the emoluments cause, and would "move to dismiss this case", which Spicer characterized as "partisan politics". Spicer noted that both attorneys general filing the suit are Democrats. Republican National Committee spokesperson Lindsay Jancek also stated that Trump was in compliance with the law, and called the lawsuit "absurd".
Although the complaint was served to President Trump on June 27, 2017, the parties agreed on an extension to accommodate the work load and a vacation for a DOJ lawyer, so the first formal response was not required prior to September 29, 2017.
On July 25, 2018, Federal District Judge Peter Messitte allowed the case to proceed; denying the Justice Department's attempt to have the case dismissed. The Justice Department had argued that the clause is not relevant to Trump's businesses. On November 2, Judge Messitte ordered discovery to begin. On December 3, Maryland and the District of Columbia issued subpoenas for Trump's financial records related to his D.C. hotel. The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a stay days later at the behest of the Justice Department, pending hearings in March 2019. This prevented the subpoena of documents until the Court of Appeals rules if the case can go forward.
In December 2018, Maryland prosecutors subpoenaed financial documents of Trump's golf resorts in Scotland.
At a March 18, 2019 hearing, a three-judge panel of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals was sharply skeptical of the legal basis of the suit, while the plaintiffs appeared confident they would prevail; the panel did not indicate when they would make their ruling. On April 30, judge Emmet Sullivan, who had been presiding over the suit in the DC District Court, declined a request from Trump's attorneys to dismiss the case.
- CREW v. Trump
- Blumenthal v. Trump
- List of lawsuits involving Donald Trump
- Timeline of investigations into Trump and Russia (2019)
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- Consent Motion for Extension of Time to File Answer or other Response to the Complaint by Donald J. Trump, Docket 14 (PDF), No. 8:17-cv-01596, D.M.D., July 18, 2017 Paperless Order Granting 14 Consent Motion for Extension of Time for Defendant to Answer or Otherwise Respond to Complaint (until September 29, 2017), Docket 15, No. 8:17-cv-01596, D.M.D., July 19, 2017
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- Tami Abdollah (December 4, 2018). "2 attorneys general to subpoena Trump Organization, Treasury". APNews.com. Retrieved December 4, 2018.
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- "Congressional Democrats' emoluments lawsuit targeting President Trump's private business can proceed, judge says". Washington Post.