This Week in Conflicts: Subpoenas for Kushner and Trump Org. and One Emoluments Lawsuit Dismissed 



President Donald J. Trump, joined by Vice President Mike Pence, addresses his remarks at the Pentagon Thursday, January 17, 2019, announcing the Pentagon’s Missile Defense Review. (Official White House Photo by Tia Dufour)

This week, House Democrats authorized subpoenas for President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, one of the emoluments lawsuits was dismissed and New York’s governor signed bill allowing some access to the president’s New York state tax returns.

Benjamin Netanyahu, Jared Kushner and U.S. President Donald Trump are seen during their meeting at the King David hotel in Jerusalem. (Image Credit: Kobi Gideon / GPO)

Subpoenas for Kushner & Trump Org.

The House Judiciary Committee authorized subpoenas to Jared Kushner this week. 

According to CNN, the committee authorized the subpoenas for a dozen people as it expands its investigation into whether or not President Trump obstructed justice. The voted for the authorization was along party lines. 

“With the 12 subpoenas Thursday, the committee has now authorized subpoenas to 17 individuals in total,” CNN reports. “House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler has issued subpoenas to three of those officials, along with subpoenas to the Justice Department for the full Mueller report and to Mueller himself to compel the special counsel’s appearance next week.”

The Trump Organization and other Trump business received subpoenas this week from Congressional Democrats.

According to CNN, “Democrats sent more than three-dozen subpoenas, demanding a response by July 29, seeking to collect evidence about the President’s financial records, after a federal judge ruled last month that Democrats could proceed with the legal discovery process in their lawsuit.”

The lawsuit accuses President Trump of profiting from foreign governments, a violation of the emoluments clause of the U.S. Constitution. The Justice Department is asking the courts to stop the subpoenas.

Donald Trump wearing a Make America Great Again cap during his 2016 campaign. (Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons user Gage Skidmore)

Appeals Court Dismisses One Emoluments Case

A federal appeals court dismissed the emoluments case against President Trump brought by the attorneys general of Washington, D.C. and Maryland.

The lawsuit claims President Trump has accepted foreign money through his business and hotels, a violation of the emoluments clause and that Trump’s hotel in Washington, D.C. takes business from other hotels, bars and restaurants in the area.

“A three-judge panel at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit ruled unanimously that the attorneys general did not have the standing to bring the lawsuit and instructed a lower court to dismiss the lawsuit,” NPR reports.

Another emoluments lawsuit, brought by Congressional Democrats is still being considered in federal court.

President Donald J. Trump is greeted by Maj. Gen. John K. McMullen, Air Combat Command vice commander, Col. Caroline Miller, 633rd Air Base Wing commander, and Col. Peter Fesler, 1st Fighter Wing commander at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., March 2, 2017. (Image Credit: U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Areca T. Bell)

NY State Bil Makes Trump’s Taxes Available

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the bill that would allow some members of Congress access to President Trump’s New York state tax returns.

“The tax bill, which was passed weeks ago by the Democratically controlled state Legislature, makes it easier for New York to turn over the state tax returns of certain public office-holders, along with entities those people control or have a large stake in, that are requested by the leaders of the three congressional tax-writing committees,” NBC News reports.

As Bloomberg reports, “the law opens a new avenue for House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal, who has sued the IRS and Treasury Department for refusing to release Trump’s federal returns, to gain insight into Trump’s personal and business financial obligations.”

More conflicts of interest in the news

About this Project

Sunlight’s “Tracking Trump’s Conflicts of Interest” project provides a free, searchable database detailing President Donald J. Trump’s known business dealings and personal interests that may conflict with his public duties as President of the United States. The project also documents news coverage of these potential conflicts. Read our reporting to stay current on related news, explore our database, and learn more about the project. As we continue to learn about the First Family’s business holdings, the database will be updated. To help with those updates, get involved by contacting us here. You can also contact us if you’re familiar with any of the conflicts we’re tracking. 

Lynn Walsh is an Emmy award-winning freelance journalist who has worked in investigative, data and TV journalism at the national level as well as locally in California, Ohio, Texas and Florida. She produces content focused on government accountability, public access to information and freedom of expression issues. She’s also helping to rebuild trust between newsrooms and the public through the Trusting News project.