Muslim Times(Web Desk) – A federal judge in the United States has granted permission to law courts in Maryland and Washington, DC, to begin issuing subpoenas in a lawsuit targeting President Donald Trump for doing business with foreign governments.
US District Judge Peter J. Messitte issued an order on Monday beginning the lawsuit’s discovery phase
The attorneys general in Maryland and Washington accused Trump of conflict of interest, violating a constitutional prohibition on gaining financially from his position by doing business with foreign governments, the Politico reported on Monday.
They said they aim to serve subpoenas to as many as 20 companies and government agencies.
It’s the first time a lawsuit alleging a president violated the Constitution’s emoluments, or anti-corruption, clauses has advanced to the discovery stage.
In discovery, each side can request that the other answer specific questions or produce documents.
A list of subpoenas was expected to be made available Tuesday, according to a spokeswoman for DC Attorney General Karl Racine.
“We will now serve subpoenas to third-party organizations and federal agencies to gather the necessary evidence to prove that President Trump is violating the Constitution’s emoluments clauses — our nation’s original anti-corruption laws,” Racine said in a statement.
“Huge step forward in our emoluments case,” Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh tweeted. “Judge issues scheduling order. We can now move forward and get the evidence to prove our case.”
The case centers on foreign dignitaries paying to stay at the luxury Trump International Hotel in Washington.
Frosh and Racine argue that Trump’s ownership in the hotel violates the US Constitution’s emoluments clause.
The Trump Organization maintains ownership of Trump’s businesses across the globe. Trump has delegated control of the organization to his sons.
The judge’s order means the Trump Organization could now be legally required to disclose sensitive financing information.
“We are entitled to know every payment the president received from a foreign government, from a state government — whatever benefits he received,” Frosh said in an interview earlier this year. “That could include financing.”
The US Justice Department is defending the president in the lawsuits which were first lodged by Frosh and Racine last year.