Trump Hotel. Photo: Alex Wroblewski/Getty Images

U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan ruled on Tuesday that Democrats can move forward with a lawsuit against President Trump alleging the Trump Organization is in breach of the Constitution's restriction on emoluments — gifts and payments — from foreign governments, the Washington Post reports.

The backdrop: Led by Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.), nearly 200 Congressional Democrats filed suit last year, requesting that the court demand Trump no longer take funds that may be in violation of the Constitution’s foreign emoluments clause. The provision exists to protect against foreign influence.

Details:

  • Sullivan stated that the president had received payments from foreign governments for Trump hotel rooms and events without seeking prior approval from Congress. The judge also noted Trump has licensed his show “The Apprentice” and received payments from China for intellectual property rights.
  • Sullivan provided an expansive definition of the anti-corruption ban, potentially giving Congressional Democrats the ability to demand details about Trump's private businesses.
  • It is possible that the Justice Department could impede the process by seeking an appeal.

Why it matters: This case — which could ultimately land in the Supreme Court — represents the first time federal judges have interpreted such previously esoteric clauses and applied constraints to a sitting president. It could carve a conceivable path for the president's opponents to finally access his finances.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 a.m. ET: 11,288,094 — Total deaths: 531,244 — Total recoveries — 6,075,489Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7 a.m. ET: 2,839,917 — Total deaths: 129,676 — Total recoveries: 894,325 — Total tested: 34,858,427Map.
  3. States: Photos of America's pandemic July 4 ICU beds in Arizona hot spot near capacity.
  4. Public health: U.S. coronavirus infections hit record highs for 3 straight days.
  5. Politics: Trump extends PPP application deadlineKimberly Guilfoyle tests positive.
  6. World: Mexican leaders call for tighter border control as infections rise in U.S.
  7. Sports: 31 MLB players test positive as workouts resume.
  8. 1 📽 thing: Drive-in movie theaters are making a comeback.

Protester dies after car drives through closed highway in Seattle

Protesters gather on Interstate 5 on June 23, 2020 in Seattle, Washington. Photo: David Ryder/Getty Images

One person is dead and another is in serious condition after a car drove onto a closed freeway in Seattle early Saturday and into protesters against police brutality, AP reports.

  • "Summer Taylor, 24, of Seattle died in the evening at Harborview Medical Center, spokesperson Susan Gregg said."

Where it stands: The suspect, Dawit Kelete of Seattle, fled the scene after hitting the protesters, and was later put in custody after another protester chased him for about a mile. He was charged with two counts of vehicular assault. Officials told the AP they did not know whether it was a targeted attack, but the driver was not impaired.

Trump's failing culture wars

Data: Google; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

President Trump built his political brand by stoking the nation's culture wars, but search data is showing us how much harder it's been for him to replicate that success while running against another white man in his 70s — and while there's a coronavirus pandemic.

The big picture: Google Trends data shows Trump's "Sleepy Joe" name-calling isn't generating nearly the buzz "Crooked Hillary" (or "Little Marco") did in 2016. Base voters who relished doubting President Obama's birth certificate aren't questioning Biden's.