President Donald Trump has asked a federal court to dismiss a lawsuit accusing him of violating the Constitution’s Emoluments Clause related to private payments from other governments.
Trump is asking the judge to dismiss the complaint against him as an individual.
He’s also being sued separately for violating the Emoluments Clause – which prohibits federal officeholders from receiving gifts and payments from foreign states or their representatives – in his official capacity as President.
Trump, in the new filing, claims the District of Columbia and Maryland state attorneys general suing him can only bring a court action like this against him as President.
Even if they could sue Trump as an individual, “the President still is absolutely immune,” according to the filing.
Previously, the judge let the lawsuit move forward and focused it on proceeds from the Trump International Hotel in Washington. Following that ruling, the case will challenge payments made by foreign officials for services at the Trump International Hotel but will not include visits to Mar-a-Lago in Florida or other Trump properties.
Maryland and DC have argued that the Trump International Hotel’s operations put other nearby hotel and entertainment properties at a competitive disadvantage and that the Trump hotel got special tax concessions.
But the judge did not make any rulings on the allegations in the case, which accuse Trump of taking illegal gifts from foreign governments through his family’s business.
The court is still weighing the definition of emoluments and other questions raised in the lawsuit.