A federal appeals court threw out a lawsuit accusing President Trump of illegally profiting off the presidency through his luxury Washington hotel, handing Trump a significant legal victory on Wednesday. A three-judge panel of the 4th US Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously overturned the ruling of a federal judge in Maryland who said the lawsuit could move forward, reports the AP. The state of Maryland and the District of Columbia sued in 2017, claiming Trump has violated the emoluments clause of the Constitution by accepting profits through foreign and domestic officials who stay at his Washington hotel. The 4th Circuit found the two jurisdictions lack standing to pursue their claims against the president. Politico has parts of Judge Paul Niemeyer's opinion:
- “The District and Maryland’s theory of proprietary harm hinges on the conclusion that government customers are patronizing the Hotel because the Hotel distributes profits or dividends to the President. ... There is a distinct possibility ... that certain government officials might avoid patronizing the Hotel because of the President's association with it."
- "The District and Maryland have manifested substantial difficulty articulating how they are harmed by the President's alleged receipts of emoluments and the nature of the relief that could redress any harm so conceived. When plaintiffs before a court are unable to specify the relief they seek, one must wonder why they came to the court for relief in the first place."
Trump heralded the decision in a tweet, saying, "Word just out that I won a big part of the Deep State and Democrat induced Witch Hunt," going on to say he actually loses "a fortune" by serving as president. District of Columbia Attorney General Karl Racine has previously said that if the panel ruled against Maryland and the District, the legal team would seriously consider asking for a rehearing before the full 4th Circuit. He also said it wouldn't surprise him if the case ended up before the Supreme Court.
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