Judge Orders Discovery in Blumenthal v. Trump, Emoluments Lawsuit by 215 Congressional Plaintiffs

WASHINGTON, DC, June 25, 2019 – In a victory for the Constitution and 215 Congressional plaintiffs, Judge Emmet Sullivan of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia denied President Trump’s request to delay the challenge brought by U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), and members of the Senate and House of Representatives to hold him accountable to the Constitution’s Foreign Emoluments Clause, and ordered discovery to begin on Friday, June 28. The Members of Congress are represented in this case by the Constitutional Accountability Center.

“This tremendous victory assures that President Trump will be held accountable to the Constitution and the American people – a historic triumph for legally mandated transparency,” Blumenthal said. “In a thoughtful, well-reasoned opinion, Judge Sullivan articulated what the law makes clear: there is absolutely no reason to delay one more day in ensuring that President Trump is held accountable for his violation of the Constitution’s preeminent anti-corruption provision. For more than two years, President Trump has thumbed his nose at the American people in flagrant violation of the law. Today, the courts spoke: no longer.”

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“The Constitution is clear: the President must obtain Congress’s consent before receiving foreign benefits,” said Chairman Nadler. “Yet again, the courts have ruled in our favor as we seek to uphold the Constitution and prove that no one is above the law. This is a great victory in our fight for transparency and accountability for the American people.”

“We’re gratified that Judge Sullivan has rejected President Trump’s effort to run out the clock on this important lawsuit,” said Constitutional Accountability Center (CAC) Chief Counsel Brianne Gorod. “Our Constitution’s Framers adopted the Foreign Emoluments Clause to ensure that our nation’s leaders, including the President, would act in the national interest, not in their own financial self-interest, but for over two years, the President has been making sensitive foreign policy decisions under a cloud of potentially divided loyalty and compromised judgment caused by his enrichment from foreign states.  It is therefore critical that this case be decided as expeditiously as possible, and as Judge Sullivan rightly recognized, the best way to ensure that happens is for this litigation to proceed in the district court.  With the orders Judge Sullivan issued today, discovery can proceed, and we can begin to obtain the information that will enable us to prove our allegations that the President is violating the Foreign Emoluments Clause.”

More information about Blumenthal v. Trump is available here: https://www.theusconstitution.org/litigation/trump-and-foreign-emoluments-clause/