A federal appeals court on Thursday denied President Trump’s request to block a lawsuit accusing him of profiting off foreign governments through his hotel in Washington, D.C. The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, based in Richmond, ruled on a 9-6 vote that the lawsuit filed by Maryland and Washington, D.C., can proceed on allegations that Trump violated a clause in the Constitution that prohibits federal officials from accepting foreign emoluments. “We disagree with the decision of the Fourth Circuit,” Trump attorney Jay Sekulow told Politico. “This case is another example of presidential harassment. We will be seeking review at the Supreme Court.” Sekulow said the president’s defense team will soon file a motion to halt the case for Supreme Court relief, making it the third case in the high court that Trump has fought to keep his financial records private.
Judge Diana Motz, a President Bill Clinton appointee, said that Trump “has not explained, nor do we see, how requests pertaining to spending at a private restaurant and hotel threaten any Executive Branch prerogative.” The six GOP-appointed judges, who voted unanimously to shut down the lawsuit, argued that it sought to “enlist judges as partisan warriors.”