Conflicts of Interest

According to President Trump, “The President can’t have a conflict of interest.” That is incorrect.

Emoluments and Justiciability

6/26/17  //  Commentary

Zachary Clopton offers a new spin on questions of standing and justiciability at the heart of recent emoluments litigation.

Take Care

Members of Congress Have Standing in the Emoluments Suit

6/24/17  //  In-Depth Analysis

Eric Segall explains why the emoluments suit by 196 Members of Congress must be decided on the merits.

Take Care

Presents, Emoluments, and Corruption

6/21/17  //  Commentary

Simon Stern explains why DOJ's interpretation of "emolument" doesn't make sense as a matter of text or purpose.

Take Care

Asymmetric Geographical State Standing

6/20/17  //  Commentary

The recent DC/Maryland emoluments case reflects a truth known to the Framers: jurisdictions geographically closer to the national capital would have a different relationship with federal power.

David Fontana

George Washington University Law School

Congressional Standing Is Not an All-or-Nothing Proposition

6/19/17  //  Commentary

It is perfectly consistent to think the House lacks standing in House v. Price, but that members of Congress have standing to sue for Foreign Emoluments Clause violations.

Brianne J. Gorod

Constitutional Accountability Center

Updates | The Week of June 12, 2017

6/18/17  //  Daily Update

Special counsel Robert Mueller is investigating Jared Kushner. The latest episode of Versus Trump podcast discusses President Trump's violations of the Ethics In Government Act.

Updates | The Week of June 12, 2017

6/18/17  //  Daily Update

President Trump is ushering in a kleptocracy, that's why he's being sued. So argues Joshua Matz in Take Care as the cases against President Trump's violations of the foreign and domestic emoluments clauses mount.

Updates | The Week of June 5, 2017

6/11/17  //  Daily Update

Allegations of impropriety under the Emoluments Clause continue to swirl around President Trump, particularly in response to recent announcements of new America-themed Trump hotels.

Updates | The Week of June 5, 2017

6/11/17  //  Daily Update

The Office of Government Ethics plans to investigate the waivers granted to lobbyists and industry officials to enable them to work at the Trump White House.

Take Care

Updates | The Week of May 29, 2017

6/4/17  //  Daily Update

The CREW Emoluments Clause lawsuit added a New York hotel owner, and law professors argue that Blackstone interpreted "emolument" broadly.

Updates | The Week of May 29, 2017

6/4/17  //  Daily Update

Jared Kushner's company used a federal loan program intended to subsidize low-income housing to build a luxury residential building, and the Administration released its ethics waivers online.

Yesterday's Other Story: Republican Knowledge of Russian Interference?

5/18/17  //  Commentary

Yesterday, a Washington Post story indicated that Republican House leadership may have known that Russia had hacked the DNC and was delivering the contents of the hack to the Trump campaign.

Leah Litman

U.C. Irvine School of Law

GSA, Trump International Hotel, and the Constitution

3/24/17  //  Quick Reactions

Yesterday, the General Services Agency surprised experts by declaring that the Trump Hotel in D.C. is not in violation of its lease. But the GSA's decision itself might well violate the Domestic Emoluments Clause.

Brianne J. Gorod

Constitutional Accountability Center

New Hotel-Owner Plaintiff in CREW Emolument Lawsuit

5/11/17  //  Latest Developments

Yesterday, CREW again amended its complaint alleging that President Trump has violated the Domestic and Foreign Emoluments Clauses of the U.S. Constitution. Notably, CREW added another plaintiff: Eric Goode, the owner of several famous hotels, restaurants, bars and event spaces in New York.

Joshua Matz

Publisher

How the DOJ Brief in CREW v. Trump Reveals that Donald Trump is Violating the Foreign Emoluments Clause

6/12/17  //  In-Depth Analysis

The most remarkable thing about DOJ’s brief is that its conclusion doesn't follow from its own explanation of the meaning of the term “emolument,” nor, for that matter, from any of DOJ’s analysis. To the contrary, DOJ’s account of the Clause, and of the meaning of the term “emolument,” actually demonstrates that the President is violating the Foreign Emoluments Clause, at least with respect to some of the conduct alleged in the CREW complaint.

Marty Lederman

Georgetown Law

DeVos Gives Accountability the Boot

4/14/17  //  Commentary

Education Secretary Betsy DeDos has jettisoned memos that hold student loan services accountable for past performance. That hurts everyone except her buddies in the loan servicing industry.

Danielle D'Onfro

Washington University Law School

The Comey Affair And Evidence Of Motive

5/12/17  //  In-Depth Analysis

The Comey affair underscores that decisionmakers must look beyond the administration’s “official” documents to determine the administration’s motives.

Leah Litman

U.C. Irvine School of Law

Announcing Our New Podcast: "Versus Trump"

4/20/17  //  Latest Developments

Take Care is pleased to announce the release of "Versus Trump," a new, affiliated podcast about the ways that the Trump Administration is breaking the law—and what people are doing about it.

Take Care

There’s Unquestionably Standing in the CREW Case. Here’s Why.

4/19/17  //  In-Depth Analysis

The additional plaintiffs in the CREW case unquestionably have standing.

Jonathan Taylor

Gupta Wessler PLLC

Tracking Corruption and Conflicts in the Trump Administration

6/13/17  //  In-Depth Analysis

An updated quarterly report on instances in which there are credible allegations of President Trump, his family, and his close associates exploiting their public power for private gain.

Take Care

Versus Trump: A Gadfly Suit + Leah Litman

6/15/17  //  In-Depth Analysis

On a new episode of Versus Trump, Take Care's podcast, Easha, Jason, and Charlie discuss a lawsuit against the President that's been brought by a D.C. gadfly who claims that Trump did not provide sufficient detail on the financial disclosure form he submitted as a candidate. Then, Easha talks with Leah Litman about the status of the Muslim ban litigation and the role of oral advocacy in this and other high-profile cases. Listen now!

Charlie Gerstein

Civil Rights Corps

Easha Anand

San Francisco

Profiting from the Presidency?

5/3/17  //  In-Depth Analysis

Tracking Corruption and Conflicts of Interest in the Trump Administration

Take Care

Because President Trump Has Chosen Not To Go to Congress, Members of Congress Must Go to the Courts

6/14/17  //  Commentary

Today, Senator Richard Blumenthal, Representative John Conyers, and 194 other members of Congress have gone to federal court seeking to put an end to the President’s willful violations of the Constitution.

Brianne J. Gorod

Constitutional Accountability Center

States And The Emoluments Clause

6/12/17  //  Commentary

In a new lawsuit, Maryland and D.C. allege that the President's violations of the Emoluments Clauses harm their sovereign, quasi-sovereign, and proprietary interests. Those interests get special solicitude in federal court.

Leah Litman

U.C. Irvine School of Law

Trump Is Ushering In A Kleptocracy. That's Why He Is Being Sued

6/14/17  //  Commentary

If recent events are any sign, the public will not stand idly by as Trump turns our nation into a banana republic.

Joshua Matz

Publisher

Trump Emoluments Argument Mirrors His “Just a Hope” Comey Defense

6/14/17  //  Commentary

The last week saw important developments with respect to Donald Trump's ongoing confrontation with the Constitution's Foreign Emoluments Clause.

Michael C. Dorf

Cornell Law School

The Two Sides Of Donald Trump, As Reflected in The Government's Motion to Dismiss in the CREW Emoluments Case

6/12/17  //  Quick Reactions

The government's motion to dismiss alternately characterizes CREW's lawsuit as a case involving "official action" and a case involving solely a private "business venture." The different descriptions go to the core of CREW's lawsuit, which is that given the President's business affairs, we don't know when he's acting as President or as a businessman.

Leah Litman

U.C. Irvine School of Law

Reuters: State Pension Funds Paying Millions in Emoluments to Trump

4/27/17  //  Quick Reactions

Professor Jed Shugerman analyzes a Reuters report that state pensions, run by state officers, are investing and paying public money to Trump LLCs

Take Care

Standing Up For Standing in CREW v. Trump

4/26/17  //  Quick Reactions

Everyone should give a tip of the hat to the new plaintiffs in the CREW v. Trump lawsuit.

Leah Litman

U.C. Irvine School of Law

The (Other) Dark Side Of The Comey Affair

5/15/17  //  Commentary

James Comey’s firing threatens more than just the rule-of-law norm against self-investigation. It also threatens the rule-of-law norm against politically motivated policing and prosecutions.

Leah Litman

U.C. Irvine School of Law

CREW’s New and Improved Legal Complaint Against Trump

4/24/17  //  Commentary

Matthew Stephenson (Harvard Law School) analyzes CREW's emoluments clause lawsuit against President Trump, discussing the recent addition of two plaintiffs and the likely course ahead.

Take Care

Mikhail’s Blackstone Breakthrough: Emoluments Meant Private Benefits

5/31/17  //  Commentary

By Jed Shugerman: Trump’s lawyers have argued that the original public meaning of “emolument” was “payment or other benefit received as a consequence of discharging the duties of an office.” But recent research by John Mikhail into Blackstone's Commentaries shows that emoluments are not limited to “office related payments.”

Take Care

[UPDATED] Trump's Innocence and the Rule of Law

5/12/17  //  Commentary

Even if Trump fired Comey because Trump knows himself to be innocent of Russia-related wrongdoing, that would still be unacceptable.

Richard Primus

University of Michigan Law School

George Washington’s Secret Land Deal Actually Strengthens CREW’s Emoluments Claim

6/2/17  //  In-Depth Analysis

George Washington’s effort to keep some of his land dealings quiet at least suggests he understood they were politically, legally, and maybe constitutionally problematic.

Take Care

States Can Require Financial Disclosure by Presidential Candidates to Safeguard Electoral Transparency

4/6/17  //  In-Depth Analysis

Many states are considering bills requiring future federal presidential candidates to release tax returns, or comparable information, in order to be listed on the ballot. Such requirements are good policy and should be upheld under the Constitution.

Danielle Lang

The Campaign Legal Center

All TC Analysis of Emoluments Issues & Cases

6/14/17  //  Latest Developments

Take Care presents an organized guide to our coverage of the Foreign and Domestic Emoluments Clauses.

Take Care

On Standing In CREW v. Trump Part I: Defining The Injury

4/27/17  //  In-Depth Analysis

Critics of the standing arguments in CREW v. Trump are defining the new plaintiffs’ injury in the wrong way.

Leah Litman

U.C. Irvine School of Law

Competitor Plaintiffs in Emoluments Clause Case Bolster Standing

4/19/17  //  Commentary

CREW has amended its complaint in the widely-watched emoluments case. The addition of two new plaintiffs should make the lawsuit bulletproof on standing grounds.

Michael C. Dorf

Cornell Law School

Trump’s Foreign Emoluments: Another Fig Leaf Falls Away

5/25/17  //  Commentary

Trump's widely-touted plan to comply with the Foreign Emoluments Clause has always been inadequate and riddled with tough questions. Now we have answers to some of those questions—and they confirm that Trump's hotel-related violations will persist unabated.

Joshua Matz

Publisher

Versus Trump: "What About Congress? + Steven Wu"

6/8/17  //  Commentary

On a new episode of Versus Trump, Take Care's podcast, Easha, Jason, and Charlie discuss Congress's role and powers in investigations of the Executive. Then, Jason talks with Steven Wu, a Deputy Solicitor General in the Office of New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, about the case against Trump University, the active role of states in recent years, and other issues in which New York is adverse to the President. Listen now!

Easha Anand

San Francisco

Charlie Gerstein

Civil Rights Corps

On Presumptions Of Regularity, And Incidents Of Irregularity

5/11/17  //  Commentary

The Presumption of Regularity, Like All Presumptions, Is Rebuttable, Not Conclusive Evidence

Leah Litman

U.C. Irvine School of Law

Versus Trump, Episode 1

4/20/17  //  Commentary

"A New Sheriff In Town" + Zephyr Teachout

On Standing In CREW v. Trump Part II: More Distinctions Without A Difference To Competitor Standing Cases

4/28/17  //  Commentary

The various ways that standing skeptics have distinguished cases supporting standing in CREW are unpersuasive.

Leah Litman

U.C. Irvine School of Law

See You In Court 2.0

3/16/17  //  In-Depth Analysis

Last night, a federal judge in Hawaii blocked Trump's revised entry ban. Here is a detailed analysis of its decision and an assessment of what likely will happen next in that litigation.

Leah Litman

U.C. Irvine School of Law

Presidential Bad Faith

3/16/17  //  Commentary

If the President cannot be trusted to “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed,” then that obligation falls on “We the People."

Laurence H. Tribe

Harvard Law School

Will Trump’s Lawyers Rewrite and Invert the Emoluments Clause?

4/18/17  //  In-Depth Analysis

NYT has leaked one of DOJ's theories in the emoluments clause case: that this is a "political question." Any such argument, however, would be exceptionally weak as a matter of text, precedent, and purpose, and would completely invert the basic operation of the Foreign Emoluments Clause.

Joshua Matz

Publisher

Maryland and DC Have Standing to Sue Trump for Emoluments Violations

6/12/17  //  In-Depth Analysis

The constitutional arguments supporting state standing in this landmark Emoluments Clause case are exceptionally powerful.

Laurence H. Tribe

Harvard Law School

Joshua Matz

Publisher

A Few Cheers For The Appointment Of A Special Counsel

5/17/17  //  Quick Reactions

In a welcome development, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller as a special counsel to investigate Russia-related (criminal) wrongdoing.

Leah Litman

U.C. Irvine School of Law

Two Thoughts on the Government's Motion to Dismiss in the CREW Emoluments Case

6/10/17  //  Quick Reactions

Here’s a brief note on two things that struck me on a quick read of the government’s motion to dismiss in CREW v. Trump, filed yesterday. The first is about Mississippi v. Johnson, which the government cites as limiting the power of courts to grant injunctions against the President. The second is about the government’s more general claim that the only proper relief for an emoluments violation is political rather than judicial.

Richard Primus

University of Michigan Law School

Updates | The Week of April 24, 2017

4/30/17  //  Daily Update

This week, Leah Litman continued her series of posts on "standing" in the CREW emoluments lawsuit. Further conflicts of interests drew attention as the Trump Administration announced its tax plan.

Updates | The Week of May 8, 2017

5/14/17  //  Daily Update

CREW added another plaintiff to its Emoluments Clause lawsuit, potentially strengthening the case for standing.

Updates | The Week of April 3, 2017

4/9/17  //  Daily Update

President Trump has pledged to donate his first quarter salary to the National Park Service. States are considering regulating access to ballots based on financial disclosure.

Updates | The Week of April 17, 2017

4/23/17  //  Daily Update

President Trump and his administration continue to run into potential conflicts of interest.

Take Care

Updates | The Week of March 27, 2017

4/2/17  //  Daily Update

As Ivanka Trump expands her role in the White House, Senators call to ensure she complies with all ethics laws. President Trump's nominee to lead the FDA has reported receiving millions of dollars from large drug makers in recent years.

Updates | The Week of March 20, 2017

3/26/17  //  Daily Update

While Judge Neil Gorsuch did not reveal his views on President Trump and the Emoluments Clause this week, we saw analysis both of President Trump's domestic emoluments and of former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and the Foreign Emoluments Clause.

Helen Klein Murillo

Harvard Law School '17

Updates | The Week of May 1, 2017

5/7/17  //  Daily Update

President Trump's business ties raise questions about his domestic and foreign policies.

Updates | The Week of April 24, 2017

4/30/17  //  Daily Update

Conflicts of interest occupied the spotlight this week as watchdog groups raised concerns about Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump. Former Trump campaign staffers are using their positions to attract foreign lobbying contracts.

Updates | The Week of May 8, 2017

5/14/17  //  Daily Update

Jared Kushner's sister's comments at an event in China offering visas in return for investments raised eyebrows this week. A member of Congress has requested information regarding Kellyanne Conway's business relationships.

Updates | The Week of April 10, 2017

4/16/17  //  Daily Update

The Government Accountability Office opened an investigation into conflicts of interests during President Trump's transition.

Updates | The Week of March 20, 2017

3/26/17  //  Daily Update

The Government Services Agency sided with Trump Hotel in Washington, D.C. on allegations that it was in violation of its lease. Meanwhile, President Trump's nominees and advisors face conflicts criticism of their own.

Helen Klein Murillo

Harvard Law School '17

Updates | The Week of May 1, 2017

5/7/17  //  Daily Update

Jared Kushner has current business ties with Goldman Sachs, George Soros, and Peter Thiel.

Updates | The Week of April 17, 2017

4/23/17  //  Daily Update

People across the country have protested demanding to see President Trump's tax returns. The CREW's emoluments suit has progressed with the addition of two new plaintiffs who have made the case stronger.

Take Care

Updates | The Week of April 3, 2017

4/9/17  //  Daily Update

President Trump pledged to donate his first quarter salary to the National Park Service. Questions have arisen over whether states can regulate access to ballots based on financial disclosure.

Updates | The Week of March 27, 2017

4/2/17  //  Daily Update

President Trump's personal and family business connections continue to raise the specter of unconstitutional corruption.

Updates | The Week of April 3, 2017

4/9/17  //  Daily Update

President Trump's financial disclosure forms have garnered a lot of criticism. Jared Kushner's role in the White House and his relationship with Chinese officials has also been the subject of scrutiny.