Justice Department argues Trump should be able to accept payments from foreign governments

The Justice Department said US President Donald Trump is not in violation of the emoluments clause, a constitutional law that prohibits federal officials from accepting payments or gifts from foreign governments without approval from Congress.

The emoluments clause has been a subject of contention since before Trump took office, due in part to his labyrinthine business empire that watchdogs and critics said would entangle Trump in a web of conflicts of interest as president.

Lawyers for the DOJ argued that the emoluments clause does not apply to fair-market commercial transactions, such as fees incurred from hotels and golf club memberships, licensing payments, and office rent.

RELATED: Donald Trump Jr. responds to Comey hearing

11 PHOTOS
Donald Trump Jr. responds to Comey hearing
See Gallery
Donald Trump Jr. responds to Comey hearing
Kind of a big deal... No? https://t.co/dZDu7rK8Hy
1/3 Flynn stuff is BS in context 2 guys talking about a guy they both know well. I hear "I hope nothing happens but you have to do your job"
2/3 very far from any kind of coercion or influence and certainly not obstruction!
3/3 Knowing my father for 39 years when he "orders or tells" you to do something there is no ambiguity, you will know exactly what he means
Hoping and telling are two very different things, you would think that a guy like Comey would know that. #givemeabreak
Comey "I could be wrong"
So if he was a "Stronger guy" he might have actually followed procedure & the law? You were the director of the FBI, who are you kidding?😂
Did I miss something or did Comey just say he asked a friend to leak information to the press? Is this a joke?
Sen Blunt: If you told Sessions you didn't want to be alone with Trump again, why did you continue to take his calls?
Thanks James: Comey Debunks NYT report about Trump Campaign having repeated Russian contacts. https://t.co/YGKSFxaas3
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

Before he took office, Trump promised his businesses would annually donate its profits received from foreign customers at his hotels to the US Treasury Department. The Trump Organization said in March that the first such donation would come in March 2018, according to Politico.

The Justice Department is asking a judge to dismiss a lawsuit filed by several plaintiffs, including Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), a watchdog group that alleges Trump's business dealings run afoul of the Constitution.

"Plaintiffs read these Emolument Clauses expansively to cover any benefit derived from any business dealings with a foreign, federal, or state instrumentality by an entity in which the President has a financial interest," the Justice Department said in a memorandum. The DOJ also argued that the Republican-controlled Congress, not the courts, should decide whether Trump is violating the emoluments clause.

CREW filed its suit against Trump in January, alleging that foreign diplomats and officials could seek to curry favor with Trump by patronizing Trump-connected businesses.

"We did not want to get to this point," said CREW Executive Director Noah Bookbinder in a January press release announcing the lawsuit. "It was our hope that President Trump would take the necessary steps to avoid violating the Constitution before he took office."

"He did not. His constitutional violations are immediate and serious, so we were forced to take legal action," Bookbinder said.

Read the Justice Department's memorandum here»

NOW WATCH: What it's like living in North Korea — according to a North Korean defector

See Also:

SEE ALSO: Ethics watchdog group files first major lawsuit against Trump in his presidency


Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.