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Trump Emoluments Case Gets Closer: Arguments Begin Oct. 18

By William Vogeler, Esq. on August 16, 2017 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Pressure is mounting in the other Russia case against President Donald Trump.

A federal judge has set a hearing over whether Trump's businesses run afoul of the U.S. Constitution's emoluments clause. The clause prohibits public officials from accepting any emolument, i.e. money, of any kind from a foreign government.

It is not the same matter being investigated by special counsel Robert Mueller, but it involves some of the same concerns. How did the president benefit from his ties to Russia?

Financial Ties to Russia

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a watchdog group, filed the emoluments case against the president in New York federal court. Judge George Daniels has ordered a hearing for arguments on Oct. 18.

It is one case among a handful of civil actions that are focused on Trump's income from foreign sources. Daniels got the case last month after Judge Ronnie Abrams recused herself, reportedly because her husband took a job with Mueller, who is investigating alleged collusion between Trump's campaign and Russia.

The Mueller investigation, which has burgeoned into two grand juries, has a wider scope than the emoluments case. But the consequences of either case could lead to the same end, including possible impeachment.

Other Ties to Russia

Trump has done business in Russia dating back to 1987, when he wrote about his deals there in "The Art of the Deal." He has sold properties to wealthy Russians and hosted Russian leaders, including the former Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev at Trump Tower in New York.

His son Donald Trump Jr. has done business in Russia many times over the years on behalf of the Trump empire. Recently, email from the president's son-in-law Jared Kushner disclosed that he and Trump Jr. met with a Russian lawyer after being promised damaging information about Hillary Clinton during the campaign for the White House.

In a statement, Trump Jr. said the meeting was about adoption. According to the Washington Post, President Trump dictated the statement.

That Russian connection is part of the Mueller case. The other Russia case is just about money.

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