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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.

Go deeper

Biden taps Brian Deese to lead National Economic Council

Brian Deese (L) in 2015 with special envoy for climate change Todd Stern (C) and Secretary of State John Kerry (R). Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden announced Thursday that he has selected Brian Deese, a former Obama climate aide and head of sustainable investing at BlackRock, to serve as director of the National Economic Council.

Why it matters: The influential position does not require Senate confirmation, but Deese's time working for BlackRock, the world's largest asset manager and an investor in fossil fuels, has made him a target of criticism from progressives.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
26 mins ago - Economy & Business

The places regulation does not reach

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Financial regulation is not exactly simple anywhere in the world. But one country stands out for the sheer amount of complexity and confusion in its regulatory regime — the U.S.

Why it matters: Important companies fall through the cracks, largely unregulated, while others contend with a vast array of regulatory bodies, none of which are remotely predictable.

1 hour ago - Economy & Business

Boeing gets huge 737 Max order from Ryanair, boosting hope for quick rebound

Ryanair low cost airline Boeing 737-800 aircraft as seen over the runway. Photo by Nik Oiko/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Dublin-based Ryanair said it would add 75 more planes to an existing order for Boeing's 737 Max airplanes, a giant vote of confidence as Boeing seeks to revive sales of its best-selling plane after a 20-month safety ban following two fatal crashes.

The big picture: Ryanair's big order, on the heels of breakthrough vaccine news, is also a promising sign that the devastated airline industry might recover from the global pandemic sooner than expected.