Rule of Law

RELEASE: First Subpoenas Served In Foreign Emoluments Clause Lawsuit Brought By Blumenthal, Nadler & 213 Other Members of Congress

CAC President Elizabeth Wydra: “We have started this process by seeking information, including tax returns, from Trump’s many business interests that have reaped rewards from foreign governments during his presidency.”

WASHINGTON – After Judge Emmet Sullivan of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued a ruling allowing U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), U.S. Representative Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), and more than two hundred Congressional plaintiffs to proceed with discovery in their effort to hold President Trump accountable for violations of the Foreign Emoluments Clause, thirty-seven judicial subpoenas were issued to a number of Trump business enterprises, including the Trump Organization, seeking information about foreign government payments accepted by six Trump properties, as well as trademarks granted to Trump businesses by foreign governments.

In a ruling rejecting President Trump’s attempts to delay discovery in the case, Judge Sullivan recognized that discovery and summary judgment briefing in the case can be complete by early next year. In response, Members of Congress moved swiftly in serving targeted document requests for financial documents necessary to prove the allegations in the complaint that President Trump is violating the Foreign Emoluments Clause, including corporate tax returns. The Members of Congress are represented in this case by the Constitutional Accountability Center.

“Our goal is simple and straightforward – stopping President Trump from putting a ‘For Sale’ sign in Russian on the door to the Oval Office. Now that we have been rightfully granted the opportunity to proceed with discovery, we are seeking a targeted set of documents to obtain the information that we need to ensure that the President can no longer shirk his constitutional responsibility,” Blumenthal said. “Thanks to the good work of the press, we already know of foreign emoluments that President Trump has and is receiving – we simply don’t yet know the full scope of his lawbreaking. Unsurprisingly, the Trump Administration is still seeking to delay, delay, delay, but we are confident that the D.C. Circuit will recognize the well-reasoned logic of the District Court, and allow discovery to proceed.”

“The President’s loyalty to the United States must be complete and undivided,” said Representative Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. “President Trump has flagrantly ignored the Foreign Emoluments Clause of the Constitution, but we do not yet know the extent of his violations. We are taking an important step towards obtaining key documents to understand the full scope of Trump’s foreign business dealings. The American people deserve to know whether their President is selling them out for his own personal benefit. With each passing day, we are closer to uncovering the truth.”

“The court has wisely rejected President Trump’s efforts to prevent enforcement of the Constitution’s Foreign Emoluments Clause, and allowed the plaintiffs to proceed with discovery into Trump’s foreign financial dealings. We have started this process by seeking information, including tax returns, from Trump’s many business interests that have reaped rewards from foreign governments during his presidency. While this is only the first step in the discovery process, it is a very important one, as we move toward transparency and accountability,” CAC President Elizabeth Wydra continued. “Meanwhile, as expected, the Trump Administration has made a last-ditch attempt to run out the clock on this effort to hold the President accountable to the Constitution during his current term in office. We are confident that the D.C. Circuit will reject this latest, groundless attempt to delay these proceedings and, as the District Court did, allow discovery to proceed.”


Case page in Blumenthal, et al. v. Trump:


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