Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Don’t Put Trump Above the Law, Emoluments Challengers Urge

Don’t Put Trump Above the Law, Emoluments Challengers Urge


MANHATTAN (CN) — For the first time in U.S. history, ordinary citizens fought in court Wednesday to have a president’s business dealings declared as violations of anti-corruption provisions of the Constitution.
“Diplomats are bragging that they’re going to this president’s hotel to curry favor with him,” attorney Deepak Gupta argued this morning in the unprecedented hearing. ( Click on image to see larger)
Representing the watchdog CREW, short for Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, Gupta wants a federal judge to declare Trump’s business dealings in violation of the foreign and domestic emoluments clause of the Constitution.
Judge George Daniels asking questions of attorneys
 During 2 1/2 hours of arguments before U.S. District Judge George Daniels, attorneys representing the executive branch and private citizens sparred both on the interpretation of these previously obscure statutes and the federal judiciary’s role in enforcing it.

Deputy Assistant Attorney General Brett Schumate

 “The court lacks jurisdiction to issue an injunction against a sitting president of the United States,” Deputy Assistant Attorney General Brett Schumate argued.
Blasting this as an “extreme view,” Gupta described this interpretation of the separation of powers as a recipe for impunity.
“I want to address the government’s view that the president is above the law,” Gupta said.
To earn the right to take the president to court, Gupta will have to prove not only that the president’s business dealings are illegal, but that his clients have been harmed by them.
The judge said he would rule in 30-60 days.

For more in this issue.
NY Magazine article link

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