Appeals court pauses lawsuit over Trump hotel profits

Appeals court pauses lawsuit over Trump hotel profits


RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Financial records related to President Donald Trump’s Washington hotel can be kept on hold, a federal appeals court said Thursday, while Trump asks the U.S. Supreme Court to hear an appeal in a lawsuit that accuses him of illegally profiting off the presidency.

The ruling from the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond means the records sought by the attorneys general of Maryland and the District of Columbia will likely not be released until after the November election.

The two jurisdictions filed a lawsuit in 2017, alleging that Trump has violated the emoluments clause of the Constitution by accepting profits through foreign and domestic officials who stay at the Trump International Hotel.

In May, the 4th Circuit revived the lawsuit, ruling that a three-judge panel of the court had overstepped its authority when it ordered a U.S. District Court judge to dismiss the lawsuit.

Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh and District Attorney General Karl Racine — both Democrats — hoped the ruling would jumpstart their efforts to obtain financial records showing how much state and foreign governments have paid the Trump Organization to stay at the hotel and hold events there. The two jurisdictions sent subpoenas to various government agencies in late 2018, but those were put on hold while Trump’s appeal was pending before the 4th Circuit.

On Thursday, the court agreed to extend the pause on the lawsuit — including the subpoenas — while the U.S. Department of Justice appeals the ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court.

In a court filing last month, DOJ lawyers argued that the subpoenas are “intrusive and burdensome.”

“If the stay is not extended, the President would be irreparably harmed, because this unprecedented and potentially sprawling suit would be allowed to continue and...

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