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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Tropical Storm Beta slowly approaching the Texas coast on Monday. Photo: National Weather Service/Twitter

Tropical Storm Beta was dumping heavy rains over Texas as it churned its way inland overnight, bringing the risk of "life-threatening storm surge" and flooding to parts of the state and Louisiana, the National Hurricane Center said.

What's happening: The slow-moving storm was causing coastal flooding along areas including the bays near Houston and Galveston in Texas Monday, per the National Weather Service. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) made a disaster declaration and Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) declared a state of emergency Monday.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 31,328,238 — Total deaths: 964,839— Total recoveries: 21,503,496Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 6,857,967 — Total deaths: 199,884 — Total recoveries: 2,615,949 — Total tests: 95,841,281Map.
  3. Health: CDC says it mistakenly published guidance about COVID-19 spreading through air.
  4. Media: Conservative blogger who spread COVID-19 misinformation worked for Fauci's agency.
  5. Politics: House Democrats file legislation to fund government through Dec. 11.
  6. World: U.K. upgrades COVID alert level as Europe sees worrying rise in infections — "The Wake-Up Call" warns the West about the consequences of mishandling a pandemic.

Louisville police declare state of emergency as Breonna Taylor decision looms

A demonstrator holds up a sign of Breonna Taylor during a protest in Louisville, Kentucky. Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images

The Louisville police chief declared in a memo obtained by news outlets a "state of emergency" for the department on Monday to prepare for Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron's expected announcement on the Breonna Taylor case.

Of note: Louisville has witnessed more than 115 days of protests over the police killing of Taylor, an unarmed Black woman, with calls for all the officers involved to be charged.

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