Erwin Chemerinsky Explains the Lawsuit Against President Trump for Violation of the Emoluments Clause

January 31, 2017

Audio Interview (YouTube Player above): On January 20, Donald J. Trump took an oath on Lincoln’s Bible to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” Three days later, Mr. Trump was sued in federal court for allegedly violating Article 1, Section 9 of the Constitution — the so-called “Emoluments Clause” — which forbids anyone holding federal office from accepting any “gift” or “emolument” from a foreign government. The plaintiff in that case is Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (or CREW), a nonprofit public interest organization that (as stated in its Complaint) “works on behalf of the public to foster an ethical and accountable government and reduce the influence of money in politics.” (See here for a link to the Complaint). Among the attorneys affiliated with this legal challenge is Professor Erwin Chemerinsky, Dean of the School of Law at UC Irvine. Professor Chemerinsky agreed to be interviewed by LARB’s Legal Affairs editor, Don Franzen, regarding this unprecedented legal challenge to a sitting president.