USA appeals court rules against Trump in foreign payments case

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The Manhattan-based appeals court overturned a lower court judge's August 2018 dismissal of the Riches' lawsuit, and returned it to him for further proceedings.

"The complaint alleges that President Trump, operating through corporations, limited‐liability companies, limited partnerships, and other business structures, is effectively the sole owner of restaurants, hotels, and event spaces, which are patronized by foreign and domestic government clientele", reads the appellate court's explanation of the case.

The plaintiffs said a judge should issue an injunction enjoining Trump from violating the clauses and also argued that an injunction should be issued requiring Trump to release financial records "in order to confirm that he is not engaging in further transactions that would violate the Emoluments Clauses". "We conclude that the district court did not apply the law correctly in finding that it lacked jurisdiction to decide the case".

Friday's Second Circuit ruling is the first victory in months for those trying to hold President Trump accountable for allegedly violating the Emoluments clause. Along with hotel rooms and steaks, they say, he can sell something they can't: access to power, and a chance to please the president.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Joel and Mary Rich could pursue claims that Fox News caused them emotional distress and other harm by publishing a May 2017 article claiming that their son had leaked emails from the Democratic National Committee to WikiLeaks, and implying that the leaks were related to his death.

Fox News must face a lawsuit by the parents of a Democratic Party staffer whose unsolved 2016 murder touched off a flurry of right-wing conspiracy theories, a federal appeals court ruled. They said it wasn't necessary to identify a specific customer that Trump had lured away. The fact that they proceeded "in the face of this knowledge makes the authors' conduct plausibly extreme and outrageous", the court said.

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The lower court in the case had earlier thrown out the lawsuit in part because it found that the Emoluments clause was not passed with the intention of preventing unfair competition; rather, it was enacted to prevent corruption and undue foreign influence in the White House.

The Justice Department, which is representing Trump in this case, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The suit is seeking to force the president to divest from the Trump Organization.

"Every time [Trump] illegally obtains payments from foreign governments, those are payments that would have gone to his competitors. He's deriving an advantage from the office that he holds", Gupta said.

One emoluments lawsuit brought by several district attorneys was dismissed in July while a separate one against Trump is still active in the courts. The plaintiffs are hoping to revive it.

But the appeals court held that the initial objective of the clause didn't matter, so far as the businesses were able to claim a legitimate injury that stemmed from Trump allegedly receiving emoluments.

The U.S. Constitution bars government officials, including the president, from receiving financial benefits known as emoluments from foreign or domestic governments, without approval from Congress.

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