Three important legal developments occurred yesterday.
Several months ago a Federal Court dismissed a suit by hotel owners alleging that Donald Trump violated the emoluments clause of the Constitution to the detriment of their businesses. The Court decided the plaintiffs didn’t have standing to bring such a claim. But yesterday a Federal Appeals Court overruled that decision, saying the plaintiffs did indeed have valid standing, deciding that they likely stood to incur real, personal harm from the actions of Trump and his businesses in violation of the Constitution. So the case goes back to the lower court to proceed, likely into the “discovery” phase where the plaintiffs can demand records from Trump . It was a big loss for Trump and will affect several other similar emoluments suits happening in other jurisdictions.
Also yesterday it was reported that the Justice Department tried to get an indictment of former FBI official Andrew McCabe for lying to federal investigators but apparently failed. Two days ago various news outlets reported that Federal prosecutors were recommending charges against McCabe, but charges have yet to appear and McCabe’s lawyers have written to the Justice Department for clarification. IF prosecutors brought the case to Grand Jury (at Trump’s urging) and were rebuked, it would be a rare and stunning development signalling that the politically motivated case against McCabe was too weak to prosecute. Keep an eye on this story.
Also keep an eye on this late breaking story: Rep Andrew Schiff’s House Intelligence Committee yesterday subpoenaed Trump’s acting DNI Maguire claiming that Maguire was illegally withholding information on an intelligence community whistleblower who may have blown the whistle on misconduct by a senior White House official or Trump himself. Maguire has been stonewalling the committee for over a month in violation of protocol and law, and the letter Schiff sent to Maguire last night along with the subpoena was as grave and damning as anything you will read from Congress. Here is reporting from the NY Times:
Here’s a link to Schiff’s full letter, it worth reading:
The whistleblower story has flown under the radar in part because nobody in the press knows exactly who the whistleblower is or what the person disclosed. But Schiff’s tone and the clarity of his conclusions in the letter indicate that this might evolve into a big story. Schiff likely knows more than he himself disclosed, and though Maguire will probably not comply with the subpoena, it seems like this is a case where Schiff might go after Maguire with real penalties like the threat of jail time. Seems like something big is going on here. Stay tuned.
The Trump administration desecrates the Constitution and scoffs at our laws on a daily basis. We must demand that Democrats raise hell in the face of such blatant and unAmerican corruption, and we must also applaud and support Reps like Schiff who are willing to go after the bad actors in the Trump regime.
Keep resisting Trump and keep working to “vote his ass out of office.”