Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington v. Trump (U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York) – We’re working with a team of top ethics experts and legal scholars to challenge the constitutionality of the countless conflicts of interest and unprecedented influence by foreign governments created by President Donald Trump’s worldwide business holdings.
Our clients —the government watchdog group CREW, a hotel and restaurant owner (Eric Goode), a hotel-event booker (Jill Phaneuf), and an association of hundreds of restaurants and thousands of restaurant workers (ROC United)—all challenge President Trump’s violations of the Constitution’s Foreign and Domestic Emoluments Clauses. We are also representing the Attorney General for the District of Columbia and the Attorney General of Maryland in parallel litigation filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland.
The Foreign Emoluments Clause prohibits President Trump from receiving payments and benefits from foreign governments, including foreign government-owned businesses, without the approval of Congress, while the Domestic Emoluments Clause provides that the President’s “Compensation” shall not be supplemented by any “other emolument from the United States, or any of them.” The plaintiffs allege that the President is violating these clauses in a number of ways, including through leases held by foreign governments at New York’s Trump Tower, patronage by foreign and domestic governments at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., and other business dealings in foreign countries.
The legal team on the case includes Deepak Gupta and Jon Taylor of Gupta Wessler; CREW’s board chair and vice-chair Norman Eisen and Richard Painter, the top ethics lawyers for the last two presidents; constitutional law scholars Larry Tribe, Zephyr Teachout, and Erwin Chemerinsky; and attorneys from Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll.