Congressman Steve Cohen

Representing the 9th District of Tennessee

Congressman Cohen Praises Judge’s Ruling in Emoluments Case

March 29, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09), the Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice, welcomed a Maryland federal judge’s ruling today allowing a lawsuit alleging violations of the U.S. Constitution’s emoluments clauses against President Trump to go forward.

The U.S. Constitution prohibits the president from accepting payments from foreign governments without the consent of Congress, a provision referred to as “the foreign emoluments clause.”  The lawsuit alleges, among other things, that President Trump violated the foreign emoluments clause by accepting payments from foreign governments’ patronage of the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., in which President Trump retains an ownership interest.

“In absence of Congressional approval, this Court holds that it may review actions of the President to determine if they comply with the law,” the judge wrote.

The lawsuit was brought by the attorneys general of the District of Columbia and the State of Maryland who claim they have been harmed by payments Trump’s Washington, D.C., hotel has received from state and foreign governments. The Department of Justice had sought to dismiss the case.

Congressman Cohen introduced H. Res. 621, the Articles of Impeachment, in November, declaring the President has violated both the domestic and foreign emoluments clauses, as well as obstructed justice, undermined the independence of the federal judiciary and undermined the freedom of the press.

Congressman Cohen welcomed today’s ruling and made the following statement:

“Maryland and the District of Columbia may now proceed to show how – and by how much -- the President and his family have enriched themselves in violation of the Constitution, a major element of the case my colleagues and I have sought to make in our Articles of Impeachment.

“I’m pleased to see that Maryland and the District’s efforts to hold this President to the rule of law will now move forward.

“The American people are rightly troubled at this President’s lack of respect for the Constitution and use of his office for private gain. I look forward to seeing this case, and others like it, proceed.”