Although Trump’s emoluments violations are not as sensational (or “sexy”) as many of his other scandals, they are nonetheless cause for grave concern. By ignoring the Constitution’s foreign emoluments ban, Trump is normalizing a form of government corruption while undermining our national security.
Today, the proceedings on one emoluments case against Trump gave cause for some cautious optimism:
Lawyers representing about 200 Democratic members of Congress urged a federal judge on Thursday to allow them to press ahead with a lawsuit seeking to block President Donald Trump from taking payments and other benefits from foreign governments doing business with his corporate empire.
Nearly a year after the suit was filed, Judge Emmet Sullivan of U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia held the first hearing in the case on Thursday. . . .
For the Democratic lawmakers involved . . . it may have been worth the wait. Sullivan sounded sympathetic to their arguments, although he repeatedly cautioned observers not to read too much into his questioning of the attorneys.
[Plaintiffs Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Rep. Jerrold Nadler of New York] said Trump’s receipt of foreign payments presents national security concerns because the payments make it impossible to determine whether the president is offering concessions in security-related disputes with countries like China because of arm’s-length diplomatic negotiations or because of benefits his businesses receive from foreign governments.
And meanwhile, Politico notes, another emoluments case, this one in Maryland, is making good progress:
. . . A suit brought by the state of Maryland jointly with the District of Columbia cleared a key hurdle in March. A judge said D.C. and Maryland had shown they could be suffering competitive harm if Trump’s hotel in Washington is diverting business from a D.C.-owned convention center and businesses in Maryland. Another hearing on that suit is set for Monday in Greenbelt, Maryland.
More to come . . .