The DC and Maryland case against the Trump International Hotel was a long but serious challenge for the businessman president, and he is likely to position the Supreme Court to interpret a key anti-corruption constitutional clause that has rarely ever been brought to court. .
“Even if the Constitution entrusts the President with the enormous responsibility of faithfully executing the law … the idea that the President is invested with an unrepeatable power both to execute and to interpret the law is extraneous to our system of government”, he Judge Diana Gribbon Motz wrote in the opinion of the majority.
“Allowing the President to be the final arbiter of both interpretation and law enforcement – as dissidents would do – would seriously offend the separation of powers,” added Motz.
Jay Sekulow, Trump’s personal attorney, called the sentence “another example of presidential harassment” and said that they intend to go to the Supreme Court at some point.
In ardent dissent, Judge Harvie Wilkinson III wrote that “the legal basis for this lawsuit is non-existent” and argued that it “opens the door to litigation as a tool of harassment” and would allow individuals to “virtually drag the presidency to court at their pleasure. ”
But Trump brought the case before the appellate court, preventing his companies from responding to subpoenas.
If Trump were to sell the Trump International Hotel in Washington – or even transfer ownership of it to his children – the cause would likely disappear. Trump has maintained his properties in trust while in office.
The Justice Department has argued that Maryland and DC have no chance to sue and that the case should be closed, and Trump’s personal attorneys also claim that he cannot be sued for this personally while he is president.
This story has been updated with details and quotes from the opinion.