Washington — A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit on Monday against President Donald Trump, which claimed that he illegally benefits from his Trump Organization hotel in Washington, D.C. – and that the hotel hurts nearby restaurants also near the White House.
The lawsuit was filed in 2017 by Cork Wine Bar, a D.C. restaurant, which said it suffered because political insiders and lobbyists chose to host fundraisers at the Trump International Hotel, rather than its business.
Judge Richard Leon of the D.C. Circuit wrote Monday in an opinion that Cork couldn’t claim a “competitive disadvantage simply because of a public figure’s fame.”
“Cork does not, for example, accuse (the hotel) or President Trump of acting to dissuade potential customers from patronizing Cork or somehow obstructing entry to Cork’s location,” Leon said.
Cork said that if he’d ruled in Cork’s favor, “I would be foreclosing all manner of prominent people – from pop singers to celebrity chefs to professional athletes – from taking equity in the companies they promote. … This I cannot do!”
While the Trump Hotel is ran by a trust administered by the President’s family, it remains at the center of two major lawsuits, alleging that Trump has violated the emoluments clause of the Constitution by accepting illegal payments through the business.
Those lawsuits raise the possibility that financial transactions between the hotel and foreign dignitaries may be made public.
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