US Appeals Court orders stay in emoluments case against Trump
© WikiMedia (Wyn Van Devanter)

US Appeals Court orders stay in emoluments case against Trump

The US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit on Thursday delayed court proceedings and investigations related to alleged unlawful profits from the Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC.

This appeal is in response to a recent Federal court decision that allowed the Attorneys General of both Maryland and Washington, DC to begin discovery as part of their suit.

The issues underpinning this case are claims of violations of the Emoluments Clause of the US Constitution. The clause is generally understood to prohibit the president from personally accepting money or other incentives from foreign governments. 

There is concern that the Emoluments Clause is violated when foreign dignitaries stay at the Trump International Hotel while visiting with the president in his official capacity because Trump has not fully divested himself of interest from this property. 

In a brief statement, the court rescheduled oral arguments to March 19-21, 2019. In addition to arguing about procedural issues around the petitioned appeal, the case will also examine whether emolument clauses permit lawyers representing DC and Maryland to legally demand business records from the president.