Rule of Law

Democrats subpoena Trump businesses in emoluments case

Congressional Democrats issued dozens of subpoenas seeking documents and records from President Donald Trump‘s private businesses Monday.

The 37 subpoenas seek information from Trump’s businesses including the Trump organization, Trump Tower, his hotels in New York and Washington, D.C., and his Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida related to a case by 200 Democrats alleging the businesses violate the constitutional ban on gifts or payments from foreign governments.

“We’re seeking a targeted set of documents to obtain the information that we need to ensure the president can no longer shirk his constitutional responsibility,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., said in a statement.

The subpoenas, issued by the Constitutional Accountability Center, which is representing the group of Democrats including Blumenthal and House judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., demand evidence about Trump’s financial records by July 29.

In a court filing Monday, the Department of Justice asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to dismiss the case or put it the subpoenas on hold stating that Trump “is likely to suffer irreparable injury.”

“If the district court’s clearly erroneous orders are allowed to stand, this improper suit will proceed and members will commence discovery aimed at probing the president’s personal financial affairs because he holds federal office,” the Justice Department wrote to the court.

In April, U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan denied a previous Justice Department request to dismiss the lawsuit, accepting a broad definition of the term emoluments after the agency stated it only applies to payments received for government action taken by a president in his official role and shouldn’t involve private business transactions with foreign governments.