Monday, January 23, 2017

CREW Files Complaint Alleging Trump Violates the Emoluments Clause

Here's CREW's complaint against President Trump for violations of the Emoluments Clause. (We wrote on this yesterday, too.) CREW filed this morning in the Southern District of New York.

In short, CREW argues that the Trump corporation's business with other countries means that it takes money from them, and because President Trump hasn't divested, "[w]hen Trump the president sits down to negotiate trade deals with these countries, the American people will have no way of knowing whether he will also be thinking about the profits of Trump the businessman."

CREW's standing to sue will certainly be an issue. Here's the abridged version of what CREW has to say about its injury:

Defendant's violations of the Foreign Emoluments Clause have required CREW to divert and expend its valuable resources specifically to counteract those violations, impairing CREW's ability to accomplish its mission. CREW has had to counteract Defendant's violations because they are particularly harmful to CREW due to its status as a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization with the resources, board of directors, in-house legal team, and mission that it has.

There is a direct conflict between Defendant's violations of the Foreign Emoluments Clause and CREW's mission of protecting the rights of citizens to be informed about the activities of government officials, ensuring the integrity of government officials, protecting our political system against corruption, and reducing the influence of money in politics. Defendant's violations create a tremendous risk of foreign governments using money to improperly influence the President, create questions about the President's motives in making foreign-policy decisions, and will likely lead to numerous conflicts and violations that the public will have insufficient information to judge.

Cases and Case Materials, Executive Authority, News, Separation of Powers | Permalink


Dear friends,

I wanted to let you know about a new petition I created on We the People, a new feature on, and ask for your support. Will you add your name to mine? If this petition gets 99,999 signatures by February 24, 2017, the White House will review it and respond!

We the People allows anyone to create and sign petitions asking the White House to take action on a range of issues. If a petition gets enough support, the White House will issue an official response.

You can view and sign the petition here:

Here's some more information about this petition:
Cherish First Amendment: Amend statutes proscribing threats to require the expression be INTENDED as a threat to injure

Statutes proscribing threats to injure the President or others (18 U.S.C. sections 871(a), 875(c), 879(a), 844(e)) have been sweepingly applied by prosecutors to convict people for merely ranting off or venting their frustrations--the reason being these statutes do not include mens rea element that the expression be intended as a threat. Prosecutors merely show that the speaker made some statement, which is later interpreted by the jury as a threat.

CJ John Roberts, in Elonis v. United States, 575 U.S. _ (2015), said prosecutors must do more than prove that reasonable people would view statements as threats, the defendant’s state of mind matters.

Make America Great, cherish First Amendment: amend threat statutes to require intent that the expression be an expression of intent to injure.

Posted by: Chris Smith | Jan 25, 2017 7:52:05 PM

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