Democratic members of Congress suing President Donald Trump over his alleged violation of the Constitution’s emoluments clause are pushing to keep the lawsuit on track, saying the effects of Trump holding private businesses while in office are “irreparable.”
“There is a troubling prospect that President Trump’s entire tenure in office could pass before his unconstitutional foreign business dealings are halted,” attorneys for the representatives wrote in the Nov. 2 filing arguing against allowing Trump to immediately appeal a pre-trial decision in the case that went against him.
The federal judge in Washington overseeing the case has ruled that the members of Congress have standing to sue over the alleged emoluments clause violation and denied Trump’s motion to dismiss the case. Trump is seeking to appeal those adverse rulings now, a move the plaintiffs say is premature.
Attorneys for the legislators argue that the appeal is an attempt to delay the case indefinitely “by running out the clock on his presidency and allowing his unconstitutional enrichment from foreign governments to go unchecked.”
In a bid to keep the suit going, the members of Congress leaned on the recent murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
“How much of the President’s reaction has been dictated by deliberation about what is best for the United States, and how much has been influenced, unconsciously or not, by the manifold ways in which the Saudi Arabian government is lining the President’s pockets?” the members of Congress asked in the filing.
Trump leases out a floor of one of his New York buildings to the Saudi government, while Riyadh has held thousands of dollars worth of events at Trump’s DC hotel since late 2016.
“These are questions the Framers believed the American people should never have to ask— which is why they adopted the Foreign Emoluments Clause,” the members of Congress said in the filing.