A federal judge in Maryland on Wednesday ruled that a lawsuit alleging that President Donald Trump, the Trump International Hotel, and the Trump Organization violated the Constitution’s emoluments clause through gifts or payments from foreign and domestic governments can proceed.
In his opinion, Judge Peter Messitte of the US District Court of Maryland largely sided with Maryland and Washington, DC’s definition of emolument as an “advantage.” Trump was arguing for a restrictive definition of the term as a “gift.”
Maryland and Washington, DC, have argued that the Trump International Hotel’s operations put other nearby hotels and entertainment properties at a competitive disadvantage, and that the Trump hotel got special tax concessions.
Messitte deferred a ruling on the President’s motion to dismiss the case against him in an individual capacity.
The ruling is on the President’s lawyers motion to dismiss an amended lawsuit from Washington, DC, and Maryland. An earlier motion to dismiss was also rejected.