Update: Judge Peter Messitte denied President Trump’s motion to dismiss in July of 2018. It was ruled that the Emoluments Clauses, put in place by the framers of the Constitution to protect against corruption, are broad and can be enforced in court. The decision gave Plaintiffs D.C. and Maryland the legal standing to sue. The Defendant later filed a motion for a stay pending appeal of the district court’s decision, which was denied, causing him to file a petition for writ of mandamus to the Fourth Circuit Court Court of Appeals. The Fourth Circuit has granted the motion and stayed the district court proceedings. Read the decision here

On June 12, 2017, the District of Columbia (the District), and the State of Maryland filed a historic lawsuit against Donald J. Trump in his official capacity as President of the United States for his unprecedented violations of the constitution. CREW is serving as co-counsel for Plaintiff’s DC and Maryland.

The suit alleges that President Trump has violated two provisions of the constitution: the Domestic Emoluments Clause, which bans the President from accepting gifts from state governments, and Foreign Emoluments Clause, which prohibits federal officials from accepting gifts from foreign government officials. These clauses were created to ensure the President faithfully serves the people without the compromising effects of financial inducements provided by foreign nations, their leaders, individual states, Congress, or other parts of the federal government.

President Trump, acting through companies that he owns, has violated both of these anti-corruption provisions by receiving millions of dollars in payments, benefits and other valuable consideration from foreign governments and persons acting on their behalf as well as federal agencies and state governments. President Trump’s continued ownership interest in a global business empire, which renders him deeply enmeshed with a legion of foreign and domestic government actors, violates the Constitution and calls into question the integrity of the country’s political system.

By asserting that he will maintain the interests at issue, President Trump is poised to engage in similar constitutional violations for the duration of his presidency. Therefore the District and Maryland have compelling and immediate interests in ensuring the the Foreign and Domestic Emoluments Clauses are enforced, as the President’s disregard for these constitutional constraints has resulted in significant and ongoing harm to them and their residents, including direct injury to their interests in properties located in the District, in Prince George’s County, Maryland, and in Montgomery County, Maryland.


Lawsuit Documents