Donald Trump's attempt to reject a claim for alleged possession of his business empire while President is violating the US Constitution was rejected by a federal judge.
He Is Accused of Breaching the Compensation Clause of the Constitution (1
Mr. Trump's lawyers have stated that the lawsuits are speculative. Wednesday's District Judge Peter Messitte's verdict allows Attorney Generals of Maryland and the District of Columbia to "challenge" whether the President is unlawfully profiting from the operations of the Trump organization in Washington.
The Trump International Hotel is located on Pennsylvania Avenue, just four blocks from the White House.
The lawsuit alleges that Mr. Trump's position places nearby hotel and entertainment facilities at competitive disadvantage and that Trump Hotel has special tax breaks.
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Judge Messitte said the Attorney Generals would have legal standing "to challenge the President's actions regarding the Trump International Hotel and its facilities in Washington DC as well as the Trump organization in relation to them."  The case focuses on payments from foreign governments whose officials stay or dine at the hotel.
So far, there are no conclusions yet, but the judge pointed out that a number of foreign powers had relocated their business from other luxury hotels such as the Four Seasons and the Ritz Carlton.
Mr. Trump's attorneys alleged claims that other companies suffered damage were speculative and questioned whether damage could be proven in the case.
Shortly before he became president, Mr. Trump resigned from the company's leadership. He transferred the business into a revocable trust from which he can receive money at his request.
But in all other respects, the president has kept his business very close.