On June 11, 2018, arguments were held in Maryland District Court in the challenge brought by the D.C. and Maryland attorneys general over the president’s alleged violation of the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution.
In Maryland v. Trump, D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine and Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh have challenged President Donald Trump’s continued operation of and profit from his downtown Washington hotel, which they say violates the constitutional prohibition against the president receiving emoluments from foreign governments. The Justice Department filed a motion to dismiss the case, which was the subject of the day’s arguments.
At issue was the definition of an emolument, with the Justice Department arguing that only favors given in return for the initial benefit count, and the members of the AG offices arguing that any profit, gain or advantage given to the president by a foreign government would violate the clause.
Following each party’s conclusion, U.S. District Judge Peter J. Messitte told the courtroom that he expected to issue a decision on the motion by the end of July, and that he appreciated the opportunity to address a constitutional issue of first impression.