Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh (D) expressed satisfaction Friday with a U.S. Court of Appeals ruling reinstating a lawsuit brought by hotel and restaurant groups accusing President Trump of violating the U.S. Constitution’s emoluments clauses.
In a 64-page decision reviving the lawsuit, which had been thrown out in a lower federal court last December, a panel of judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit voted 2-1 that the case alleging that Trump violated the Constitution by refusing to put his business assets in a blind trust and profiting off the presidency can continue.
“Plaintiffs have plausibly pleaded that the President’s ownership of hospitality businesses that compete with them will induce government patrons of the hospitality industry to favor Trump businesses over those of the Plaintiffs so as to secure favorable governmental action from the President and Executive branch,” Judge Pierre Leval wrote in the decision.
Frosh and District of Columbia Attorney General Karl Racine (D) had also filed a suit suggesting that the president was violating the emoluments clauses through his ownership of the Trump International Hotel in downtown Washington, D.C. But their case was dismissed a month ago.
In a statement, Frosh said the appeals court ruling puts more weight behind his and Racine’s petition to reinstate their case.
“We will continue our fight to ensure that the President does not put his personal and financial interests ahead of the interests of our nation and our people,” Frosh said.
The suit brought against Trump by hotel and restaurant companies was facilitated by the government watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. In a statement, CREW’s executive director, Noah Bookbinder, suggested that “now would be a good time for him to divest from his businesses and end his violations of the Emoluments Clauses of the Constitution.”
At least one other lawsuit accusing Trump of violating the emoluments clauses, filed by congressional Democrats, is also proceeding.