Restaurant group joins suit against Trump over business ties

U.S. President Trump listens during joint news conference with NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg at the White House in Washington

U.S. President Trump listens during joint news conference with NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg at the White House in Washington

An organization that advocates for restaurant workers has joined a NY lawsuit claiming President Donald Trump is violating the constitution by letting his businesses accept money from foreign governments.

"We would've liked to be dropping our case because the president got in line with the Constitution", CREW Executive Director Noah Bookbinder said.

This is a significant development that does much to alleviate the "standing" problem, the legal requirement that the plaintiff suffered actual harm.

"When we brought this lawsuit three days into the presidency, the constitutional violations were already pretty glaring".

That group - a nonprofit association that says its members include more than 25,000 restaurant workers, 200-plus restaurants and thousands of people who eat in restaurants - trains restaurant workers and advocates for higher wages. Neither Jayaraman or Phaneuf provided the Post with a specific instance of lost business.

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It is also a statement on how CONCACAF - once synonymous with corruption - has cleaned house, according to Montagliani. Canada has only ever qualified for one men's World Cup - in 1986. "I would assume this would be the same", he said.

The amended complaint said Trump violates the Constitution's "emoluments" clause, which bars him from accepting various gifts from foreign governments without congressional approval, by maintaining ownership over his business empire despite ceding day-to-day control to his sons, Eric and Donald Jr.

The emoluments clause has never been the subject of a significant court case, and when this lawsuit was filed, legal experts weren't so sure that would change.

Noting that Phaneuf books events for the Kimpton Carlyle Hotel and the Kimpton Glover Park Hotel, the complaint says her compensation depends upon her ability to book embassy functions and political functions involving foreign governments.

The two hotels themselves are not joining the lawsuit, the watchdog group said.

Phaneuf's portion of the updated lawsuit alleges that her own business is taking a hit "from unfair competition as foreign states, the United States, and state and local governments divert their business to hotels in which Defendant has a financial interest".

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In the original complaint, filed on January 23, the first business day after Trump's inauguration, CREW targeted payments from diplomats and foreign government officials to Trump's hotels and golf courses.

When The Washington Post asked the White House for comment, a spokeswoman directed the question to the Trump Organization.

CREW is seeking an order from U.S. District Judge Ronnie Abrams that Trump is in violation of the Constitution's foreign and domestic emoluments clauses.

An emolument is any kind of payment made to a federal official, according to the suit. But that is exactly what the new plaintiffs are saying - the two of them allege that they could lose foreign clients who book Trump properties in an attempt to win over the favor of the president.

"This is 'MOAC.' The mother of all conflicts", said Norm Eisen, a former ethics official in the Obama administration and a board member of CREW. "But now we've seen almost 100 days of emoluments violations-and the violations are growing, not shrinking" said Teachout.

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It meant the leaders had secured a second victory of the week and ended the day where they started it, with a seven-point lead over second-placed Tottenham.

Phaneuf said her pay is directly tied to a percentage of the gross receipts of the events that she books for the hotels.

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