Nearly 200 Democratic lawmakers plan to file a lawsuit against President Trump. Led by Senator Richard Blumenthal, the plaintiffs allege that the president’s vast global business interests violate constitutional restrictions on receiving gifts from foreign powers.
The Democrats’ fury over their humiliating November loss hasn’t abated one bit since Trump took office. If anything, it seems like the left is intentionally nursing their supposed grievances. Blumenthal’s lawsuit represents the biggest attack Congress has ever launched against a sitting president.
Rather than admitting to being obstructionists, Blumenthal and ilk are claiming that their lawsuit is valid because the emoluments clause of the Constitution grants Congress sole discretion in approving foreign gifts.
It’s awfully suspicious that a supposedly valid lawsuit hasn’t attracted a single Republican plaintiff. There are certainly some who want to get rid of the president as much as liberals do
“Just because they can convince their peers doesn’t mean you can go to court to get what you want,” Andy Grewal, a law professor at the University of Iowa, told the Washington Post.
Legal scholars say that emoluments clause was intended to prohibit the president from using his office for personal gain. The Trump empire existed long before Trump assumed office. His family businesses are flourishing due to expert negotiations and management rather than any benefit Trump gleans from being in the White House.
In fact, the left has been so intent on discrediting the administration that Trump’s reputation might be worse than it was before his inauguration.
“It throws into question whether our government is making policy decisions for the right reasons,” Noah Bookbinder of DC-based Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics (CREW), told Al Jazeera.
“He’s taken every opportunity to go to some of his establishments on weekends, to meet with foreign leaders there, talk about how great his businesses are and that raises a lot of problems.”
There’s absolutely no evidence that Trump’s business dealings influenced his policy decisions. The Democrats are so eager to squash his agenda that the president is having trouble getting anything through to Congress. If Trump actually introduced a self-serving bill to the House, the left would pounce on it like a dog gnawing on a piece of steak.
Blumenthal told reporters that although not personally injured, he and his fellow Congressman had standing to file a lawsuit because Trump was interfering with their ability to do their job.
“The president’s failure to tell us about these emoluments, to disclose the payments and benefits that he is receiving, mean that we cannot do our job. We cannot consent to what we don’t know,” the Senator said yesterday during a conference call.
Trump’s business ties have been scrutinized since before he took office. He’s not hiding anything.
Blumenthal’s announcement came less than a day after two state attorney generals filed similar lawsuits.
“The Framers of our Constitution gave members of Congress the responsibility to protect our democracy from foreign corruption by determining which benefits the president can and cannot receive from a foreign state,” Erwin Chemerinsky, the incoming dean of the law school at the University of California at Berkeley, said.
“When the president refuses to reveal which benefits he is receiving — much less obtain congressional consent before accepting them — he robs these members of their ability to perform their constitutional role. Congressional lawmakers . . . have a duty to preserve the constitutional order in the only way they can: by asking the courts to make the President obey the law.”
Democratic Congressman would serve their constituents better if instead of chasing down every false, flimsy allegation made against Trump they focused on adhering to the law themselves.