Let The Subpoenas Begin: A Federal Judge Just Dropped The Hammer On Trump
In another blow for Trump administration, a federal judge on Monday ruled that lawyers for Maryland and Washington, D.C., can begin issuing subpoenas in a lawsuit that accuses Donald Trump of using his luxury hotel in Washington to unconstitutionally profit from the presidency.
The attorneys general in Maryland and Washington say they plan to serve as many as 20 subpoenas by midday Tuesday. It’s the first time a lawsuit alleging a president violated the Constitution’s emoluments, or anti-corruption, clauses has advanced to the discovery stage.
According to Politico, the subpoenas will be issued to state and federal government agencies and to customers and competitors of the Trump International Hotel, located just down the street from the White House.
Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh said that if Trump lawyers do seek to stop the case, the delay would be temporary.
“They have a very high burden to win on a writ of mandamus, I don’t think they can meet that standard here,” Frosh said, according to Politico. “They’ve done everything they possibly can to stop us from getting discovery.”
D.C. Attorney General Karl A. Racine called the Constitution‘s emoluments clauses “our nation’s original anti-corruption laws.”
The suit, filed in June 2017, accuses Trump of violating two emoluments clauses of the Constitution, which limit the president’s ability to receive financial benefits from states and foreign governments.
A similar suit against Trump brought by Democratic lawmakers cleared an initial hurdle in federal court in Washington, while a pair of suits filed in New York were thrown out by a judge there. That decision is on appeal.
DOJ declined to comment on the decision Monday. The Trump Organization and the White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.