Trump Believes Dismissed Emoluments Lawsuit Was Part of ‘Witch Hunt’ by the ‘Deep State’

Trump Believes Dismissed Emoluments Lawsuit Was Part of ‘Witch Hunt’ by the ‘Deep State’

There is likely a lot of high-fiving at the White House on Wednesday for a less-than-meets-the-eye legal victory.

A three-judge panel of the Fifth Circuit Court dismissed a lawsuit brought by the Attorneys General of Maryland and Washington, D.C. that accused President Trump of violating the Emoluments Clause by operating the Trump National Hotel near the White House.

The judges — all Republicans, including one appointed by Trump himself — threw out the lawsuit because they determined the plaintiffs lacked standing to sue the government on this issue.

So of course there was a round of self-congratulatory nonsense on Twitter:

When all else fails, throw out the words “witch hunt” and “deep state” to keep the fans happy. Everyone loves when a band plays the classics.

The Emoluments Clause prohibits presidents from receiving gifts or otherwise profiting financially from foreign leaders while in office. The attorneys general had argued that foreign and business leaders have been patronizing the National Hotel, and thus putting money into the pockets of Trump and his family, in order to earn favorable treatment when they have business with the United States government.

The Fifth Circuit did not decide whether Trump is violating this clause. Rather, it threw out the case on what is essentially a technicality while foreclosing the admission of any evidence that might sway a jury in favor of the plaintiffs.

This did not stop Trump from bragging, either because he does not understand what just happened or assumes his supporters won’t.

But it is important to note that the issue of whether Trump is violating the Emoluments Clause is still very much an open question, no matter what he tweets.

Gary Legum

Gary Legum has written about politics and culture for Independent Journal Review, Salon, The Daily Beast, Wonkette, AlterNet and McSweeney's, among others. He currently lives in his native state of Virginia.